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difficulty to canulate what are my options

Hi all

After many years of lots of hospital admissions and iv drugs they now have real problems getting iv line in they moved to my feet but now this is proving useless.

After my last admission i had a mdline inserted which they told me were very good could stay in for 4 weeks and that they very rarely had problems with them. Well after a week i developed a blood clot so they removed the line and put a new one in the other arm and low and behold a week later i had developed a blood clot in that arm.

I am now really worried about any further admissions as i am always on iv drugs for a minimum of two weeks and am petrified of having to have midlines inserted again as the blood clots were extremley painful and due to the i am still having to inject tinzaparin dail (developed blood clots end of feb).

Is there any other way of getting iv acsses which will not cause these complications.

thanks for any help kym

4 Replies

Hi Kipo

As far as an option that doesn't have the risk of developing the complications that you mentioned I am not sure there is one. I believe that all forms of iv access have associated risks.

I have a portacath insitu. I have had it for over three years now. The only problem I have encountered with it was a recent abcess on the part of the port that connects to the tube that feeds into the vein. A course of Tazocin rectified this and my port is fine again.

I would suggest that you discuss long term options with your consultant. They will be able to organize something if they feel that you need it and it is safe to do so.

I hope you manage to find a suitable and safe option.


Hi Kym,

sorry to hear about your ongoing problems with canulation. My daughter had the same problem and also a fear of needles and after much fighting on my part ( and some research ) her consultant finally relented and she had a Hickman line put in. Oh what a relief all round not only for Bernadette but also for the medical staff in hospital.

Hickman lines are normally used for patients who require i.v access regularly eg in chemotherapy patients. It's a central line and once in requires minimal handling. I was taught how to care for,it and how to ensure it remained patent. it made a big difference and it might be something your consultant could consider. Once in situ it can remain there for many months. I hope this helps you in some way. Hope you keep well and out of hospital. LIZ x


I have a PICC line and its been in for 3 months now, u can take blood from it and have IV's through it and i dont have to have any needles, it goes in at the crese of your arm. i am getting a port soon so they will remove my picc line in theatre hopefully!! maby you should get a PICC line or portacath? xxxx


I've had 3 PICC lines in the last 6 months. If I'd realised I'd need IVs so often then I would have left it in, but the risk of infection is worryingly high with any form of long-term venous access, particularly the 'open' lines (rather than a 'sealed' port) so I've always had it removed when the IV course was finished and then a new one inserted when necessary. My consultant would much rather do this because of the infection risks, and also the clots as you mention. I've now been 6 weeks without needing anything so I'm hoping I'm at the start of a good run!

I think, sadly, as others have said, all access carries risks. Were you lines sealed with hepsal after every use? I don't know if that would ahve reduced the risks of clotting, but it was something they were very fussy about on the CF ward where I was staying (even though it was used 6-8 times a day), but worryingly blase about on the surgical ward, telling me it only needed to be flushed if not in use. Fortunately I escaped without problems, but I was lucky.

Good luck - hope things pick up for you.


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