Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Port Flush

Back in March, I posted some details about Isaiah's port, which is a small device that was surgically placed under the skin on his upper chest that's used for blood draws and Pam treatments every 8 weeks.

Last week it was already time for it to be flushed so I thought it was worthy of a blog mention since it's not an every day occurrence.

Isaiah's port needs a heparin flush every 4 weeks.  The flush prevents clot formation and catheter occlusion....and if you're not in the medical field like me and your eyes just glazed over... it keeps it working; if the port clogs up, it's useless.

Luckily we are able to have Isaiah's port flushed right at home by a local nursing company that was recommended by another OI mom.

We get a call the night before to find out what time the nurse will be stopping in.  This time the nurse was scheduled to arrive between 8 and 8:30am.  Knowing this, we prepared the area with Anecream and a sheet of Tegaderm (clear medical tape) about 20 minutes before the nurse's scheduled arrival time.  (You can see that below.)  The Anecream numbs the area so that hopefully it's not so painful for Isaiah when the needle goes in.

Daddy does a fantastic time distracting Isaiah.  This time I took some pictures but normally I hide in a corner.  Yup, mommy needs to man up about needles.  (Side note, I did a good job staying with Isaiah during this flush.  I had my head right up against his during the whole 5 seconds; it's good progress on my part.)

We have a kit delivered to our house full of most of the supplies and the nurse brings the rest.  The nurse needs a sterile mask and sterile gloves, a syringe of saline, some alcohol prep swabs, a syringe of heparin, a sterile "area" (that while cloth in the pictures on the right), and the little butterfly needle that has a clamp (I don't know the correct term).  Once she gets the needle in, she pulls to make sure she can get blood and then flushes...there's likely more to this...I'm normally hiding my face and trying not to cry with Isaiah.  Once the heparin is in, the nurse removes the needle, and places gauze for any bleeding that occurs, then cuddles, lots of cuddles.  

After this flush, Isaiah was hungry and exhausted because he had decided to wake at 5:30am that day.  I stole him from his daddy cuddles, gave him a bottle, and he passed right out for 2 hours.  And when he woke up?

It's like it never happened.

We went back to playing...

This kid has a box full of toys and yet enjoys an empty tissue box.  He's getting tissue boxes from us for his birthday, forget those toys. :-P

We're glad Isaiah has the port as his last IV experience wasn't great, but we know Isaiah isn't a fan of these moments.  A port flush at home is better than a blown vein at the hospital though so we'll take it. :)

1 comment:

  1. Love that picture with him in between you two-pure joy on his face!