Help Section for Implanted Port

This article has been archived.
Please use for reference only.

Penn Home Infusion Team
University of Pennsylvania Health System
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Problem Possible Causes What To Do
Fever of 100.5 or more
  1. Infusion too fast
  2. Catheter Infection
  3. Other causes such as the flu, common cold
  1. Call physician
Leaking fluid
  1. Loose connection
  2. Hole in tubing
  1. Check all connections and tighten
  2. Replace tubing
Weakness, nausea, or frequent urination
  1. Blood sugar is too high
  2. Solution being infused too fast
  1. Call physician
Sweating, nausea, headache, feeling of nervousness, blurred vision, shakiness, drowsiness
  1. Blood sugar too low
  2. Stopping TPN to rapidly
  1. Take some form of sugar (hard candy, honey, fruit, Juice)
  2. Call physician
Swelling of feet or ankles, shortness of breath while performing usual activity, weight gain 2 lbs or more per day
  1. Retaining extra fluid
  1. Call physician
Pump alarms
  1. Varies with alarm
  1. See alarm section
Swelling in the shoulder or where catheter is located
  1. Fluid being infused into skin, not in port
  1. Stop infusion
  2. Reaccess port
  3. Call physician
Pain, redness, or drainage around the catheter
  1. Infection at catheter site
  1. Call physician
Tubing becomes disconnected
  1. Tubing not taped or secured properly
  2. Clamp the extension tubing tightly.
  3. If there is blood in the tubing, flush the port with 4.5 cc of sodium chloride followed by 4.5 cc of 100 units/cc Heparin.
  4. Start infusion again.
  5. If there is air in the tubing, turn off the pump, clamp the tubing as close to your body as possible, lie on your left side.
  6. Call physician.
Bloody urine, bruising easily, bleeding gums
  1. Blood thinning medication
  1. Call physician
Any unusual feeling
  1. Various causes
  1. Call physician
Unable to flush port
  1. Catheter has developed blockage
  1. Change body position and try to flush again.
  2. If still unable to flush, call physician.