Getting a Port for IVIG Immunoglobulin Infusions
The other day I was visiting with a friend who has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). We were talking about his possibly getting a port for infusions of a new medication for his condition. It started me thinking again about why I got a port for my immunoglobulin IVIG infusions. The reasoning and logic are basically the same.
First, here’s a graphic to show what a port looks like and where it’s placed.
[caption id="attachment_19658" align="alignnone" width="300"] AP silhouette of man with central line and subclavian port SOURCE: 89223_1 MOD: Removed PICC, duplicated half of silhouette on left, added central line and port
1)Bard Access Systems (2005). “Nursing PICCs.” retrieved at: http://www.bardaccess.com/nurse-perqplus-picc.php (2) Cancerbackup (2003). “PICC lines.” retrieved at: http://www.cancerbackup.org.uk/Treatments/Chemotherapy/Linesports/PICCline
3) Consultant, Dr. Erlich[/caption]
Why get a port? Here are some reasons you might consider a port.
How easy are you to start an IV on? For me, it was difficult at times, often taking several tries. The more tries, the more stress for both you and the nurse.
How long will you be doing infusions? For me, immunoglobulin infusions are part of my LEMS treatment plan which is ongoing. LEMS is not a curable disorder.
How many days will each infusion take? For me, I do two days of infusions together, which means taking home overnight whatever access we’ve used. Taking home an IV in my arm or hand was often not comfortable.
How often will you need infusions? Ports need to be accessed and flushed every 4 weeks. As it happens, my infusion cycle is every 4 weeks. Perfect!
Deciding to get a port for IVIG immunoglobulin or other medication in your LEMS treatment plan is a personal decision between you, your neurologist, and your infusion team.
I hope the reasoning points I’ve provided will help you make a good decision.
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