Central venous catheter (Port-a-Cath)

A central venous indwelling catheter (Port-a-Cath) serves as a permanent access to the venous system of the body, for administration of medications and nutrient solutions.

A Port-a-Cath system is necessary if you regularly receive intravenous therapy, which either must not or cannot be administered via the small veins of the arm.

Additional information

Procedures of implantation and explantation

The port system is implanted under the skin in sterile conditions below the collar bone, in the area of the large pectoral muscle. In slim patients only a small bump under the skin is visible, otherwise the system is not seen at all. Once the port system is no longer needed, it can be removed in a short outpatient procedure.

The Port-a-Cath system is usually implanted under local anaesthesia and general sedation.

Instructions for handling

The Port-a-Cath system must be punctured with special needles ("Gripper needle") only by appropriately trained medical staff. The puncture must be performed under sterile conditions.At the end of the infusion, before removal of the needle, the system must be flushed with heparinized saline in order to prevent thrombosis.

Port-a-Cath infection

In case of fever, chills and malaise with no other reason, the possibility of an infection of the port system may be present. A clinical examination and blood tests for inflammation and culture for microorganism need to be performed.

This is a medical emergency, that needs to be clarified further in a hospital without delay.

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