Canulla insertion

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Hi  I had my first immunotherapy  infusion  2 weeks ago and it took  3 attempts  to insert the canulla  . The nurse said that next time they might have to use  a port.   Bit shocked by whole experience  and didn't ask questions is there anything I could do to improve the  changes of more success with the canulla  next time and what is involved in fitting a port  .I know I should of asked  but  I'm like a rabbit in head lights lately  . 

  • If they have problems with the canula then they can use heat warmers for 15 mins.  It's like a hot water bottle, heats your hands and makes the veins stand out.  Another method is a hand-held device which they hold over your hand and the veins display as blue, so the nurses know where to aim.  Then there is a port and a picc line which are long term temporary devices into your vein so a canula isn't necessary.   They connect the cannula into the device instead.  But these require prior setup and maintenance.  You don't just appear at the session and have a picc/port  - it's a prior procedure.  

    You can try soaking your hand in hot water before you leave for the infusion.  I suggest you ask why they had difficulty getting the canula in?  Are your veins "small" or hidden?    

    As  you're early in your immunotherapy, then ask the nurses to use the hand warmer and the device which makes your veins stand out in blue, I'd suggest.  Normally the permanent  lines (picc/port) are workarounds after repeated failures in getting a cannula in.   

  • Thankyou for replying  they did use the vein machine   on me . Think will wear gloves and a warm coat maybe that might help on  the long journey  to hosp takes an hour on a good day when traffic good!   I'm always cold since I had my op and had a lot of drips and blood transfusions etc  so think my veins are protesting  they've had enough . 

  • Hi Artful

    I had the same thing recently - the nurse said that if people are well hydrated (which I wasn't at the time) that can help the veins show better.

    Good luck.

  • Thankyou will make sure I drink plenty  nd take plenty  with me    Good luck with  your treatment  also 

  • I just read your  post, on my first treatment they had the same issue, had my hand and arm in a bucket of warm water and my nurse filled out paperwork to put forward for a port because they had issues, I have since found that drinking plenty of fluids , remaining hydrated, keeping your arms and hands warm (primarily) right up until they want to insert the needle seems to help keep those veins up there, my send and 3rd treatments went well as I did this, so fingers crossed im on the right track.

  • I had hand warmers in my pockets too lol  and drank loads of water   . My 3rd treatment  next Thursday so will do the same fingers crossed Fingers crossed