Friday, January 25, 2013

Central Line University

Docs have secret ways to inject poison into children.  In the outside world we are all familiar with the IV.  Well IV's fail, need to be changed a lot, create problems when the veins figure out something is going on and they rebel. 

So.... there are 4 things kids in Cancer World people receive.

1. PIIC Line.  It is put in a child's arm like an IV but there is a catheter that goes into the child's heart.  The docs love to put lots of chemo into children and if the end of the line is in the heart it is dispersed very quickly throughout the body.  Mary-Elizabeth had one of these from August 2004 until December.   They didn't want to give Mary-E a port so we had to make the PIIC Line last and last and last.  It was it's  own kind of nightmare.  It had a dressing that had to be changed and her skin did not like it and on and on. It had to be flushed twice a day.

2. Port-A-Cath.  So this is what she has now.  It is commonly called a Port.  It goes under her skin and is attached to her chest wall.  The tube/line goes into the heart. Notice there is a theme here....  It is great because nothing is left hanging out.  When there is a need for access.  The fluids go in and out of this.  They have a special needle that goes in and makes all of this happen.  

Ports are wonderful because once the scar heals you can go swimming.  Showers even happen earlier.  

Hickman's.  Named after Dr. Hickman. I think he might be alive and lives in Edmonds.  He is retired.  The Hickman can come with one spout or two.  I am not sure why some people get different ones.  I knew from Cancer Part 1 that a Double Hickman meant a transplant.  We all know how much I didn't want her to have to have a transplant but that is old news. When our new nervous and flustered  doctor told us she was going to have a double Hickman installed, I knew what it meant and was not happy.  It did turn out to be a good thing.  

In Central Line world she has been very lucky.  No line infections, some stubborn times but all in all they have been just fine.  They all fail eventually.  The PIICs require twice daily attention with saline and heparin   Ports must be accessed once a month at least.  Hickmans are on a once a day schedule. 

So short hand;  PIIC lines, Ports, Hickmans.

Our friend Bob suggest that they should install a USB port and then do all the blood work via computer.  I am sure he will be the next to retire. 


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