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Experiences with the use of the Port-a-Cath in children

P Soucy
Journal of Pediatric Surgery 1987, 22 (8): 767-9
Over a period of 18 months, we have inserted 20 Port-a-Caths in 19 children between the ages of 8 1/2 months and 18 years. The smallest child weighed 7 k. Three others weighed less than 12 k. The indication in all cases except two was the administration of cancer chemotherapy. The devices have been in use for periods ranging from 2 to 70 weeks (total of 517 patient weeks, average 27 weeks). Four patients had the device removed electively at termination of chemotherapy. Five patients died with the device in place and functioning well. Three patients required removal for complications. The eight others still have functioning catheters. The only significant "nuisance" problem is the occasional inability to withdraw blood. Patient tolerance and parent acceptance is good. In particular, we are impressed with the fact that ease of insertion and of use, as well as durability, do not seem to be limited by patient size or age, as long as a vessel large enough to accommodate the catheter can be found.

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