Points of Emphasis

  1. When accessing the port use only a non-coring needle. These needles have a deflected point and side opening which prevents septum coring
  2. When accessing the port ensure that the needle is inserted through the septum to the bottom of the port. This avoids injection into the subcutaneous tissue
  3. Once the septum is punctured, DO NOT rock or tilt the needle as this may damage the septum or cause fluid to leak into the subcutaneous tissue
  4. Ensure patency is confirmed prior to commencing any infusions
  5. When checking patency, discard any aspirated blood because reinsertion potentiates clot formation
  6. Use positive pressure to “lock-up” the system. This technique is absolutely essential in maintaining catheter patency because it prevents reflux of blood into the tip of the catheter where it could form a clot
  7. When accessing the Port-A-Cath, use only a non-coring needle with an attached clamped and capped extension set, which has all been primed. This will reduce the risk of air embolism and facilitate easier manipulation of the port.
  8. When administering fluid into the Port-A-Cath, do not use a syringe smaller than 10mL. The smaller the syringe the greater the pressure generated. Pressures greater than 40 PSI may cause catheter rupture and possible embolization