Mediports are subcutaneous access ports implanted under the skin. They provide a way for long-term venous access without multiple needle pricks. They are used for treatments such as chemotherapy, intravenous medication and blood transfusions.
Mediports are usually implanted in the patient’s chest. A small bump can be felt under the skin. This bump is the access into which the needle is inserted. Tubing can be attached to the port. A mediport can remain in place for long-term use if cared for properly.
Flushing the mediport is necessary to keep the device open and usable. They can be flushed with normal saline or heparin. Heparin is an anti-clotting medication. The flushing solution is drawn into a syringe and injected into the port. Typically, normal saline is flushed through the port followed by heparin. A health care provider such as a physician will determine the amount and type of flushing solution.
A physician will determine how often the mediport is to be flushed, typically, after every use. Those not used on a regular basis should be flushed every four weeks to maintain the port's ability to be accessed. Patients and family members can be trained by a medical professional on how to flush a mediport.