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An implanted port is a device placed, in most cases, under the skin of your child's chest below the collarbone. The port is about the size of a quarter, but thicker. A thin, flexible tube called a catheter runs from the port into a large vein.
The centre of the port has a soft membrane, called a septum. A nurse uses a needle to put medicine and fluids, or chemotherapy for cancer, through the septum into the catheter. Doctors and nurses can sometimes take blood for tests through the port. An implanted port can be used for months. A special needle (called a Huber needle) may stay in the port for a short time. The port and catheter need regular care to make sure that they don't get blocked. Regular care can also help avoid infections near the port.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for any changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: November 30, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:John Pope MD - Pediatrics & Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine & Thomas Emmett Francoeur MD MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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