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Hi 6Blues.

Regarding the port-catheter, if infusions are done daily the needle stays in for one week and is then changed. The needle needs to be in to infuse meds. When the needle is in you cannot get the site wet. Some people do infusions five days a week and take two days off. On the days off, the needle is completely out and it is okay to get the site wet. The needle needs to be changed once a week by a medical professional. Depending on the experience of this person (often a nurse), this can be painful. A numbing cream can be put on the area before-hand. It is usually a pretty quick stick, but it can be felt. A port-catheter needs to be surgically placed but it can be removed in a doctor's office.

A PICC line can be inserted at a doctor's office or in an out-patient facility. It usually only takes a few minutes. The line is threaded up in the arm and an X-ray is taken to ensure it is in the proper place.

Usually you will be shown how to infuse the meds yourself and will be supervised until you are comfortable doing it on your own. It does not take long to learn the process.

Likely the PICC is less expensive, it is easier to place. As far as insurance coverage, you will have to contact your carrier to see what they will cover. There are many different antibiotics that can be given IV. A few examples are Rocephin, Claforan, Doxycycline, Zithromax, and Vancomycin.

There are covers you can get for the PICC and the port so you can shower without getting the site wet. The one for the port is called Aqua Guard Moisture Barrier. It is a plastic square with adhesive that goes over the needle and surrounding area. The tape is really sticky and it can smart when you remove it but it is quick like when you pull off a band-aid. For the PICC line there is a cover called a Mid-Arm Protector that you can get at Brown Medical.

With most IV lines, the dressing and/or needle needs to be changed once a week by a medical professional, often a home healthcare nurse. Blood work is usually taken once a week also. With any IV line, it is very important that the site remain clean and dry at all times. An infection in the line can be deadly. If ever there is any redness or any question about how the site looks, call your doctor or nurse immediately.

I hope this information helps. Good luck on Monday. Let us know how your appointment goes okay?
Hi Kim. The port is often placed in the upper chest area, a couple of inches below the collarbone. It needs to be surgically placed but it can be removed in a doctor's office.

It is terrible you had such a horrible infection. There is a great cover you can get for the PICC line so you can shower without getting the site wet. It is called a Mid-Arm Protector and you can get it at Brown Medical.

Have you been tested for the co-infections recently or do you have any? Being co-infected can complicate progress.





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