I have a port as veins are progressively becoming more challenging to find and its so easy to get chemo and give blood.


I do however find that when outside the chemo unit there is either a distinct reluctance to utilise the port or there’s no-one that is trained to use port.

As a result of this I have a very sore hand and thumb as the MRI unit at my hospital tell me its hospital policy not to use port for delivery of power injected contrast (though my port is specifically designed to be able to cater for this.

Also when admitted to A&E (where I write from…) they have no-one who can use the port, so I have to “suffer” several attempts to find a vein, causing me, the patient, unnecessary pain & suffering.

Am laying it on thickly here as think the lack of use of port generally is nonsense, especially when it obviously costs the NHS to install one.


So am interested in your experiences with ports as want to challenge hospital protocol.





Hi yorkshire_defector,


i had a picc line in while having my chemo treatment as could only use one hand and getting a cannula in was a painful nightmare.  I was having my chemo weekly.

wanted to get my bloods done at my doctors instead of having to go to the hospital but there werent any nurses qualified there to use the picc line to take bloods.

Also i had dye put thru my picc for a scan and when imentioned this to my chemo nurse she went mad,  said should never had been used for this procedure.  Told her that 2 nurses had said it would be ok…  she was going to have a word with them.

be interested to see the outcome from you… mini mad xx ??

I had a Hickman line a few years ago and had to same problem at A and E. apparently the Registrar on duty said they got around 30 mins on them during their basic training and that was it so no one knew how to use it. I refused point blank for them to use anything else to get blood, had a bit of an argument, sent other half home to get the necessary supplies and talked the Dr through how to use it myself. It’s not ideal is it.  

Hi Sam,

I’m with you on this!!I I’ve had a portocath since day one, 3 years now as I’m needle phobic, have poor venous access and couldn’t cope with canulas. So easy for chemo, meant I could knit to pass the time on the unit and still play tennis when I had the energy - it was my serving arm! Despite the card I was given saying it’s an implantable  contrast port system, when I’ve queried  iv in the arm or hand, im told " we’re not trained to use them". Chemo nurses on unit have taken blood thru port (it’s very slow) cos end of my catheter is against vein wall, so suction difficult but drugs go in great. I have kept it flushed thru every 4 weeks while I wasn’t having treatment which is good as it looks like I now have lung mets so may need it again.

Would advise anyone facing chemo to ask for one - it makes a challenging situation much much easier and the more of us that have them, may persuade the NHS to do some training!

Hope your a and e visit is all done. Wishing you well

Pam x