Port-A-Cath Insertion: Caring for your child at home after the procedure

Your child has had a Port-A-Cath insertion. This brochure explains how to look after your child at home after the procedure, and when to call for help.

When to see a doctor 

Call your child's doctor, your community care nurse, the vascular access resource nurse at the hospital, or go to the nearest Emergency Department if your child has any of the following:

  • fever greater than 38ºC (100.4ºF)
  • swelling or bleeding at the PORT site
  • leakage or drainage at the PORT site or neck
  • difficulty breathing
  • funny feeling in your child's heart
  • irregular heartbeat, such as skipped beats or a very fast heart rate
  • neck swelling or bruising

Bathing

Your child may shower 48 hours after the PORT has been inserted. Your child may take a bath seven days after the PORT has been inserted.

Dressing Care

Leave all dressings on for 48 hours. If the PORT is not accessed, no dressing is needed after 48 hours. There should be no bright red bleeding at the PORT site. If there is, contact the Vascular Access Nurse or the Referring Service.

Meals

If your child is feeling well enough after the anaesthetic, they can return to eating what they normally eat. It is also important to encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids for 48 hours after the procedure.

Pain relief

If needed, give your child acetaminophen (Tylenol® or Tempra®) for pain. Do not give your child any medicines that will thin the blood, such as ASA (Aspirin®) or ibuprofen (Advil® or Motrin®), without checking with a nurse or your child's doctor first.

Activity

After the port insertion, your child will need to be quiet, stay home from school or day care, and avoid physical activity for the first 24 hours. Your child may return to school 24 hours after the port insertion with restricted activity. Your child should avoid all major activity or physical exertion for 2 full weeks, such as:

  • contact sports
  • gymnastics
  • diving/swimming
  • bicycle riding
  • rollerblading
  • hockey
  • soccer
  • skiing
  • horseback riding

Key Points

  • Keep the PORT and neck site as dry as possible for at least seven days.
  • Leave dressing intact for seven days.
  • Give your child acetaminophen​ (Tylenol®) for pain.
  • No physical activities for two weeks.  

Joao Amaral, MD

Michelle Côté, RN

​Candice Sockett, RN(EC), MN:APN

2/14/2014

At SickKids:

If you have any concerns during the 48 hours after the procedure, you can contact the vascular access resource nurse at the Hospital for Sick Children at (416) 813-8756, your referring doctor, the IGT clinic at (416) 813-6054, or go to the nearest Emergency Department. For all concerns after 48 hours, please call your family doctor or the vascular access resource nurse at (416) 813-8756.





Notes: