Implanted Catheter (Port-a-Cath®)

  • This IV line is placed in surgery. It is entirely under the skin (looks and feels like a bump).
  • Inside the body, the device has two parts:
    (1) A small rubber dome
    (2) An attached flexible tube that goes to a large vein leading to the heart
  • When treatments are given, a special needle with attached tubing is inserted through the skin into the rubber dome. A medicated disc (BIOPATCH®) and clear, plastic dressing are placed over the needle.

Considerations:

  • There will be a “poke” when the port is accessed at the start of each treatment. The needle is changed each week.
  • A numbing cream can be used to help with this discomfort.
  • There is minimal care for the port by the caregiver/parent, so there is less risk of the line getting infected at home.

Home routine:

  • There will be a “poke” when the port is accessed at the start of each treatment. The needle is changed each week.
  • Must be accessed with special needle and flushed with heparin at least once a month by home health, the clinic, or hospital.

Implanted Catheter, Port-a-Cath inside a boy

Implanted Catheter, Port-a-Cath inside a boy

Comparison of double and single ports

A double port can be placed in larger children and teenagers. Two needles are needed (one for each port). With a double port, different medications, fluids, and blood products can be infused at the same time.

Central Venous Catheter (Broviac®)

A surgically placed line put into a vein in your child’s chest.

(1) Inside the body: the catheter leads to vein above the heart

(2) Dacron® cuff: Prevents the catheter from being pulled out and keeps bacteria out. The skin grows around the cuff.

(3) Outside of the body: This part may have one or two smaller tubes (called lumens). Each lumen has a removable cap and a plastic clamp. Medications are injected through the cap into the catheter and travel directly into the vein.

Considerations:

Central venous catheters can have two lumens. Outside of the body it looks like two catheters that connect into one before entering the body. However, there is no connection between the two lumens. Different medications, fluids, and blood products can be infused at the same time.

Home routine:

  • Caregiver/parent flushes the line with an anticlotting medicine every day.
  • Caregiver/parent cleans and applies a new dressing every week.

Broviac inside a boy

example of inside a double lumen catheter