The subcutaneous driver is down. By this morning it was obvious that Vic’s tissue was just not holding up.
On Friday morning I removed and repositioned the driver. Serum leaked out of the syringe hole for almost two days. The area is inflamed, hot to the touch, swollen and painful. Cellulitis has struck! Yesterday evening I repositioned the driver again and this afternoon I removed it. So I will now administer the 150mg of morphine and the 60 ml Stemitil IM. Vic’s derriere is black and blue and lumpy from the injections.
Where to from here? How are we going to control this poor child’s pain? I can only think that they will have to fit a central line… Will they do it? She will have to go into theatre for that! There is absolutely no way I would allow the procedure without sedation! Central lines are very susceptible to infection and sepsis.
Poor baby. She is so ill.
Today I said to my BFF, Gillian, that it is almost as if, now the decision has been made regarding “her” Hospice, she is at peace. I sat next to her and thought to myself “I wonder if she will make Christmas?” But then I thought to myself “Wait a minute…This is Vic…She bounces back!”
Tomorrow her doctor will come and see her, she will go onto a course of antibiotics and bounce back again. Then we will decide how to deal with her pain…Central venous catheter http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_venous_catheter
|Central venous catheter|
In medicine, a central venous catheter (“central line”, “CVC”, “central venous line” or “central venous access catheter”) is acatheter placed into a large vein in the neck (internal jugular vein), chest (subclavian vein or axillary vein) or groin (femoral vein). It is used to administer medication or fluids, obtain blood tests (specifically the “mixed venous oxygen saturation”), and directly obtain cardiovascular measurements such as the central venous pressure.
There are several types of central venous catheters:
Non-tunneled vs. tunneled catheters
Non-tunneled catheters are fixed in place at the site of insertion, with the catheter and attachments protruding directly. Commonly used non-tunneled catheters include Quinton catheters.
Tunneled catheters are passed under the skin from the insertion site to a separate exit site, where the catheter and its attachments emerge from underneath the skin. The exit site is typically located in the chest, making the access ports less visible than if they were to directly protrude from the neck. Passing the catheter under the skin helps to prevent infection and provides stability. Commonly used tunneled catheters include Hickman catheters and Groshong catheters.
A port is similar to a tunneled catheter but is left entirely under the skin. Medicines are injected through the skin into the catheter. Some implanted ports contain a small reservoir that can be refilled in the same way. After being filled, the reservoir slowly releases the medicine into the bloodstream. An implanted port is less obvious than a tunneled catheter and requires very little daily care. It has less impact on a person’s activities than a PICC line or a tunneled catheter. Surgically implanted infusion ports are placed below the clavicle (infraclavicular fossa), with the catheter threaded into the right atrium through large vein. Once implanted, the port is accessed via non-coring “Huber” needles inserted through the skin. The health care provider may need to use topical anesthetic prior to accessing port. Ports can be used for medications, chemotherapy, TPN, and blood. As compared to CVC or PICC catheters, ports are easy to maintain for home-based therapy.
Ports are typically used on patients requiring only occasional venous access over a long duration course of therapy. Since the port must be accessed using a needle, if venous access is required on a frequent basis a catheter having external access is more commonly used.
A peripherally inserted central catheter, or PICC line (pronounced “pick”), is a central venous catheter inserted into a vein in the arm rather than a vein in the neck or chest.
Depending on its use, the catheter is monoluminal, biluminal or triluminal, dependent on the actual number of lumens (1, 2 and 3 respectively). Some catheters have 4 or 5 lumens, depending on the reason for their use.
The catheter is usually held in place by an adhesive dressing, suture, or staple which is covered by an occlusive dressing. Regular flushing with saline or a heparin-containing solution keeps the line patent and prevents thrombosis. Certain lines are impregnated with antibiotics, silver-containing substances (specifically silver sulfadiazine) and/or chlorhexidine to reduce infection risk.
Specific types of long-term central lines are the Hickman catheters, which require clamps to make sure the valve is closed, and Groshong catheters, which have a valve that opens as fluid is withdrawn or infused and remains closed when not in use. Hickman lines also have a “cuff” under the skin, to prevent bacterial migration and to cause tissue ingrowth into the device for long term securement.
Indications and uses
Indications for the use of central lines include:
- Monitoring of the central venous pressure (CVP) in acutely ill patients to quantify fluid balance
- Long-term Intravenous antibiotics
- Long-term Parenteral nutrition especially in chronically ill patients
- Long-term pain medications
- Drugs that are prone to cause phlebitis in peripheral veins (caustic), such as:
- Calcium chloride
- Hypertonic saline
- Potassium chloride
- vasopressors (e.g. epinephrine, dopamine)
- Peripheral blood stem cell collections
- Frequent blood draws
- Frequent or persistent requirement for intravenous access
- Need for intravenous therapy when peripheral venous access is impossible
Central venous catheters usually remain in place for a longer period of time than other venous access devices, especially when the reason for their use is longstanding (such as total parenteral nutrition in a chronically ill patient). For such indications, a Hickman line, a PICC line or a portacath may be considered because of their smaller infection risk. Sterile technique is highly important here, as a line may serve as a porte d’entrée (place of entry) for pathogenic organisms, and the line itself may become infected with organisms such as Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase-negative Staphylococci.
The skin is cleaned, and local anesthetic applied if required. The location of the vein is then identified by landmarks or with the use of a small ultrasound device. A hollow needle is advanced through the skin until blood is aspirated; the color of the blood and the rate of its flow help distinguish it from arterial blood (suggesting that an artery has been accidentally punctured), although this method is inaccurate. Ultrasound probably now represents the gold standard for central venous access and skills, within North American and Europe, with landmark techniques are diminishing.
The line is then inserted using the Seldinger technique: a blunt guidewire is passed through the needle, then the needle is removed. A dilating device may be passed over the guidewire to slightly enlarge the tract. Finally, the central line itself is then passed over the guidewire, which is then removed. All the lumens of the line are aspirated (to ensure that they are all positioned inside the vein) and flushed. A chest X-ray is typically performed afterwards to confirm that the line is positioned inside the superior vena cava and, in the case of insertion through the subclavian vein, that no pneumothorax was caused as a side effect. Vascular positioning systems can also be used to verify tip placement during insertion without the need to a chest X-ray, but this technique is not yet a standard of practice.
Videos are available demonstrating placement of a central venous catheter without and with ultrasound guidance.
Central line insertion may cause a number of complications. The benefit expected from their use therefore needs to outweigh the risk of those complications.
Pneumothorax (for central lines placed in the chest); the incidence is thought to be higher with subclavian vein catheterization. In catheterization of the internal jugular vein, the risk of pneumothorax can be minimized by the use of ultrasound guidance. For experienced clinicians, theincidence of pneumothorax is about 1.5-3.1%. Some official bodies, e.g. the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (UK), recommend the routine use of ultrasonography to minimize complications.
Central-Line Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSIs)
All catheters can introduce bacteria into the bloodstream, but CVCs are known for occasionally causing Staphylococcus aureus andStaphylococcus epidermidis sepsis. The problem of central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) has gained increasing attention in recent years. They cause a great deal of morbidity and deaths, and increase health care costs. Historically, a small number of CVC infections were considered an acceptable risk of placing central lines. However, the seminal work by Dr. Peter Pronovost at Johns Hopkins Hospital turned that perspective on its head. Additionally, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) has done a tremendous amount of work in improving hospitals’ focus on central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), and is working to decrease the incidence of this particular complication among US hospitals.
The National Patient Safety Goals NPSGs and specifically NSPG 7.04 address how to decrease infections. The NSPG 7.04 has 13 elements of performance to decrease CLABSIs.
The 13 Elements of Performance (EPs):
- EP 1 & 2 deal with educating staff and patients about Central Vascular Catheters and their potential complications
- EP 3 specifically directs facilities to implement policies and practices to reduce CLABSI
- EP 4 & 5 are about how to perform surveillance for Central-Line Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSIs)
- EP 6-13:
– Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) bundle
- 1. Hand Hygiene
- 2. Full body drape
- 3. Chlorhexidine gluconate skin anti-septic
- 4. Selection of Optimal site for Central venus Catheter (CVC)
- 5. Daily review of ongoing need for CVC
– Disinfection of intravenous access ports before use
National Patient Safety Goals require documentation of a checklist for CVC insertion and Disinfection of intravenous (IV) access ports before use (scrub the hub). Some literature has suggested the use of a safer vascular access route – such as intraosseous (IO) vascular access – when central lines are not absolutely necessary (such as when central lines are being placed solely for vascular access). Infection risks were initially thought to be less in jugular lines, but this only seems to be the case if the patient is obese.
If a patient with a central line develops signs of infection, blood cultures are taken from both the catheter and from a vein elsewhere in the body. If the culture from the central line grows bacteria much earlier (>2 hours) than the other site, the line is the likely source of the infection. Quantitative blood culture is even more accurate, but this is not widely available.
Generally, antibiotics are used, and occasionally the catheter will have to be removed. In the case of bacteremia from Staphylococcus aureus, removing the catheter without administering antibiotics is not adequate as 38% of such patients may still develop endocarditis.
In a clinical practice guideline, the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends against routine culturing of central venous lines upon their removal.The guideline makes a number of further recommendations to prevent line infections.
To prevent infection, stringent cleaning of the catheter insertion site is advised. Povidone-iodine solution is often used for such cleaning, but chlorhexidine appears to be twice as effective as iodine. Routine replacement of lines makes no difference in preventing infection.
CVCs are a risk factor for forming venous thrombosis including upper extremity deep vein thrombosis.
Rarely, small amounts of air are sucked into the vein as a result of the negative Intra-thoracic pressure and insertion technique. Valved insertion devices can reduce this risk. If these air bubbles obstruct blood vessels, this is known as an air embolism.
Hemorrhage (bleeding) and formation of a hematoma (bruise) is slightly more common in jugular venous lines than in others.
Arrhythmias may occur during the insertion process when the wire comes in contact with the endocardium. It typically resolved when the wire is pulled back.
13 thoughts on “Where to now?”
You will be a doctor soon. So sorry that you and Vic are having such a difficult time. I wish there was something I could do to ease the pain for both of you. Just praying that all goes according to God’s plan.
Thank you Shirley. Our Hospice nurse also says I will get my Palliative Care certificate soon…
Has she had a picc line before? I’ve had one of those in the past.
Yes she has. Vic’s body is so susceptible to infection due to the sepsis in the spine. Sepsis is the problem with all these different CVC’s.
i can’t imagine. xo
there will be a solution and if they have to do a central line then that is what you will do. i have had them before and for long term use there may not be another choice.
whatever happens remember her journey has been made better by you and she appreciates that. sending hope for blessings to your family.
Thank you dear Sandra. Hope you are resting well before your cruise!
I hope the central line works – it is getting very difficult now on a daily basis because things are changing so fast. Love to you both Tersia.
Thank you Julie for taking the time to read my blog in view of all the problems you are facing with Anthony. I hope that today is a better day for you, Anthony and Ming.
Your blog is one of my priorities.
I hope all goes well. My heart feels so deeply for Vic. I have had 2 ports at separate times when going through chemotherapy.
You and Vic are on such a journey in life… I close my eyes thinking to when I was so very ill… I know it means the world to Vic to know you are there… it makes all the difference in the world. Mamas… are so special.
I loved my mother… but, she wasn’t there, nor came to me when I went through 3 years of being deathly ill… drugs kept her mind numb. She’d forget that I was sick… and ….. anyway, Skip was there … always.
I think you are a very special mama.. you have my respect. I just feel deeply that your very presence means everything to your daughter. She knows you will protect her at her most vulnerable time in life. She can just be……… mama’s there, everything’s going to be all right. Love, Granny Gee/Gloria
Oh Gloria how sad. I read some of your blog last night and was deeply touched by the sadness of your childhood. You are so strong. Not only did you survive but you have also become an inspiration to so many people. Vic developed full blown sepsis from previous ports. She has sepsis in her spine, and it attacks any “foreign matter”. Vic and I are so close. I am blessed to have her living with me and being able to care for her.
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