The PowerPort is not a perfect device and can be subject to common issues affecting other port-a-cath devices, causing them to fail.
The three main common issues are catheter fracture, infection, and migration.
What is a Catheter Fracture?
A catheter fracture is when all or part of the catheter breaks apart inside the vein causing the pieces to travel throughout the body’s circulatory system. In many cases, the catheter breaks down further once in the bloodstream, causing fragments of silicone and polyurethane to travel the circulatory system.
What causes a catheter fracture?
A catheter often fractures due to the lower durability that results from constantly flexing or moving the muscles near the PowerPort. This issue is known as flex fatigue. The manufacturer can reduce the chances of flex fatigue by simply reinforcing the catheter with harmless coatings and/or additives.
What is a Catheter Infection?
A catheter infection is the presence of bacteria and other pathogens in the catheter that can enter the bloodstream via micro-cracks and, in most cases, are protected against the body’s immune cells as these are too big to pass the cracks. In most cases, this results in severe infections that the body struggles to fight properly.
What causes the catheter infection?
With an implanted PowerPort device, there is a long-term risk of infection that results from its catheter losing durability (mainly due to flex fatigue). Loss of durability impacts the safety quality of the PowerPort and can often degrade the catheter enough for the development of micro-cracks. These micro-cracks can be undetectable in some cases.
What is a Catheter Migration?
Catheter Migration can be rare but is a serious complication with an implanted PowerPort. Due to varying reasons, a catheter may completely dislodge itself from the Powerport and migrate to other organs in the body’s circulatory system. This means that a dislodged catheter may travel to vital organs, such as the heart, and lodge themselves there, requiring immediate surgery and extraction.
What causes the catheter migration?
Two reasons for catheter migration involves:
- Improper installation of the PowerPort port device.
- Manufacturing faults of device
The manufacturer of the implanted PowerPort device (Brad Access System) may also be held liable for catheter dislodgement and subsequent migration, due to manufacturing errors of the device.