Ports and Lines

 

Sometimes children have to be given factor concentrate regularly.  This may be every day, every other day, or several times a month.  This may be to treat a “target joint" that has been bleeding often.  It may be before and after surgery.  It may also be part of an immune tolerance program to treat an inhibitor.

When factor has to be given often, some parents decide to stick their children's veins each time.  Others decide to have a "line" or a "port" put in to give factor.  A line, also called a "central line" or "Hickman catheter", is a plastic tube that runs from outside the body to a vein in the chest.  The tube is always hanging from outside the skin of the chest or upper arm.  The factor is injected through the outside end of the tube.

A port (also called a Port-A-Cath®) is a round disk that has been put under the skin of the chest.  The only thing that can be seen is a raised bump on the chest created by the disk.  A tube runs inside the body from the disk to a large vein near the heart.  Factor can be injected through the disk using a special needle.

It takes surgery to put a line or a port in place.  Both ports and lines can get infected.  Your doctor can talk to you about the good and bad points of each.