Problems with Portacath: Hi to all our warriors... - My Ovacome

My Ovacome
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Problems with Portacath


Hi to all our warriors.

Had a Portacath fitted six months ago and never had a problem.

Went along last week for bloods prior to Chemotherapy and no blood could be drawn from the port. Flushing was not a problem but was not up for giving any of the red stuff!

Had an X-ray to check all was ok, which is was.

A solution was administered over an hour into the port but No it wasn’t having any of it!

Been back to The Christie for more blood tests this morning, and it still wasn’t playing ball.

It took six attempts to get into a vein so my bloods could go off to the labs.

I looked like a giant cotton wool ball coming out of the blood room 😬😬😬

Has anyone else had this problem and if so any advice?

Thanks in advance for any help. Xx

10 Replies

My mom has had problems getting blood back - but we have learned techniques that work for her to get it going (deep breathes, coughing, etc). I know sometimes the lines can get a kink in it which can restrict draw back.

Hope it works for you next trip!

They tried all their best Portacath tricks last week.

Stand up, cough, jump on one leg, but nay not a drop!

Thanks for your quick reply, appreciate it. X

Exactly same happened to me over 3 separate appointments over a number of weeks trying to get blood ... however no problem taking it from arm vein.

For me the solution seemed to be the fact that I had 'sticky' blood due to fact a pelvic blood clot was picked up on a scan a month's ago

After 2 weeks of fragmin injections, hey presto blood flowed easily and this morning again, ( also at Christie's - if only I'd known you were there!) not a hint of a problem. What number were you ? I was 7... but I didn't see a big cotton wool ball walk out..hah ha.

Not sure if that's unique to me but worth asking about?

Janet 🌈

I was number 21, but you wouldn’t have missed me!!

Thanks for you help. Xx


Yes, what seems to have sorted it out for me, for the time being at least, was a wise nurse who'd struggled with me one time too many suggesting using a different needle size from the official one. Since then, I've had no problems.

Thanks for your reply.

I will suggest that next time I go for bloods.

Yesterday it was a different nurse on the sixth attempt who decided to use a butterfly needle who managed to get into a vein.

Hope your coping ok on your treatment.

Take care. X

Hi there I had the same problem when I was having treatment numerous X-rays urokinase injected got to the point where I was crossing fingers every time. I was put on daily fragmin injections for 6 months due to a blood clot on my lung and since then I've not had any problems with it touch wood. I also think drinking lots of water helps which I try to do. Hope yours behaves itself in the future otherwise you'll be floating away in a big cotton wool cloud xx

in reply to SuSue

Thanks so much for your helpful advice.

I drink lots of water which they asked me yesterday at hospital. Always have a bottle of water with me.

Fingers crossed it starts to get its act together!

If you look to the sky one day and see a giant cotton wool ball, you can point at it and say - there Supergran! Xxx 😂😂😂😂

Hello- I ha ve had my fort for two years already There have been several times they could not get blood out of the port. It flushed alright but no blood. the next month everything worked fine. They told me it has to do with the type of port as well as where the needle is placed. No worries unless it is infected.

Xx Carol

Hi caf132

Thanks for so much for your advice, really helpful.

I know what you’re saying about infection, I had a Hickman line before the port and got sepsis in it so don’t want to go down that road again.

Thanks once again for your help, take care xx

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