• Port doesn't give up blood

    Asked by BigE54 on Tuesday, June 11, 2013

    Port doesn't give up blood

    Anyone else have a port that just doesn't give up blood? It flushes great, and it hasn't stopped me from getting my chemo, but it almost never has a blood draw, and when it comes to drawing blood for labs, it is so unreliable that I have to let them stick me. Anybody else having this problem, or better yet, had this problem and figured out what was happening?

    11 Answers from the Community

    11 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      Yep, my first one was just like that. I would do the "blood draw dance" hold your arm over your head, bounce on one foot, etc, trying to get it to draw. But it would take treatment just fine. It finally quit working all together and I got another in the other side of my chest.

      over 3 years ago
    • KarenN@StF's Avatar
      KarenN@StF

      Yes, it can be a fairly common experience. Sometimes a build up of fibrin on the tip of the tubing is the problem, sometimes the tip of the tubing is right up against the wall of the vein. Trying to pull back with the syringe just causes it to clog with fibrin or suck up the vein wall, but pushing fluid through is not a problem. I'm sorry you have to get poked extra times to get your blood, but glad your port can still be used for chemo. Good Luck!

      over 3 years ago
    • KarenN@StF's Avatar
      KarenN@StF

      Yes, it can be a fairly common experience. Sometimes a build up of fibrin on the tip of the tubing is the problem, sometimes the tip of the tubing is right up against the wall of the vein. Trying to pull back with the syringe just causes it to clog with fibrin or suck up the vein wall, but pushing fluid through is not a problem. I'm sorry you have to get poked extra times to get your blood, but glad your port can still be used for chemo. Good Luck!

      over 3 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar
      SueRae1

      I've had this problem. Ports are always good at taking sometimes not so great about giving. My port needed to be flushed once because it was clogged. Have them check if that's the case. I also discovered if I turn my head to the side opposite the port it flows the draw is much faster.

      over 3 years ago
    • Risa's Avatar
      Risa

      Dear BigE54,
      I had the same problem. They could not draw blood from my Port but they could flush my port.I had been off of chemo for several months but was due back to start chemo because of a recurrence.My Onc suspected that the Port was leaking so he booked an ultrasound for me and the Port was leaking!!! It would have been disastrous if I would have begun Chemo as the chemo would have infiltrated my tissues. So I would have it checked out. I have a new Port now. Good Luck

      over 3 years ago
    • Risa's Avatar
      Risa

      Dear BigE54,
      I had the same problem. They could not draw blood from my Port but they could flush my port.I had been off of chemo for several months but was due back to start chemo because of a recurrence.My Onc suspected that the Port was leaking so he booked an ultrasound for me and the Port was leaking!!! It would have been disastrous if I would have begun Chemo as the chemo would have infiltrated my tissues. So I would have it checked out. I have a new Port now. Good Luck

      over 3 years ago
    • carm's Avatar
      carm

      Actually, a port is meant to receive and not give. It is a common complaint and a common misconception that blood should be drawn from ports like a picc. What causes a port to malfunctionis that pull instead of the push. The fibrin will form as long as you continue to try and get blood from it. Best of luck to you, Carm RN.

      over 3 years ago
    • BigE54's Avatar
      BigE54

      Hmmm, I guess that "misconception" is held by every oncologist and nurse that works here. And the fact that most ports do give up blood rather easily, well I guess that is just a "misconception" too

      over 3 years ago
    • ddkk3's Avatar
      ddkk3

      I have this issue as well. My nurses told me my port "tilted." Some days it works, other days it doesn't. My oncologist has put me on warfarin (blood thinner) for this reason but it's still not perfect. They usually have to give me altipase/activase. They call it "draino" for my port. They push it through the port, wait about an hour, and then it usually works.

      It's extremely frustrating. It makes my chemo take hours longer than it should!

      over 3 years ago
    • jhale17's Avatar
      jhale17

      I have had my port for six years and in the last three months of port flushes I have not had a blood return. The flush still works fine. My infusion nurse said it could be a little scar tissue. It apparently it is not a problem. And yes I do have to get stuck for blood draws.

      over 3 years ago
    • PhaedraB's Avatar
      PhaedraB

      I have had two ports. The first one worked great both ways, but they had to take it out because the incision hadn't healed properly. The second one will not give a blood draw, no matter what they do. They tell me there's a dozen reasons why it could be doing that, but the upshot is, they try every time and every time I get an arm stick instead.

      over 3 years ago

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