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Criteria for choosing power versus non power injectable portacaths

Our hospital has just started purchasing power injectable ports.  We would like to find any kind of algorithm or list of criteria  for choosing power injectable over non power ports in an effort to assist our clinicians involved in planning for vascular access for our patiients recieving infusion therapy.

Thank you !

Cherylanne Perry RN,CRNI


Gwen Irwin
Criteria for choosing power versus non power injectable ports

I would say "get a crystal ball" to predict the future.  :)

This is the same as determining what to use Power PICCs or not.  The patient's conditions can and do change, indicating the need for a power injectable VAD.  I don't think that an algorithm will help.  However, based on our experience, oncology patients definitely would benefit from selecting a power injectable port.

Gwen Irwin

Austin, Texas

power injectable devices

Thanks Gwen,

I also wish I had a crystal ball :).

I happen to believe that every patient should have the benefit of the power injectable port or  PICC, however they are more expensive and our Oncology Director was hoping to find an algorithm to follow in order to justify choosing the more expensive device. Im hoping that in the next few years power injectable PICCs and ports  will be the standard of care.

Karen Day
Karen Day's picture
We used to use both types of

We used to use both types of piccs and to help determine the patients best suited for power injectable picc lines, we followed some basic criteria such as newly diagnosed oncology patients, trauma patients, pt's with bowel or abdominal problems, pt's in need of CT such as r/o PE or brain scans just to name a few, we also placed them in all of critical care patients.    It's kind of a judgement call and pretty extensive chart review at times.  Although we were correct in choosing the appropriate line most of the times, there were times as previously mentioned that the patients condition suddenly changed and we had to exchange the picc for a power picc.  We ultimately ended up going with all power injectable lines and found they are really not more expensive than the non-power injectable - your manufacturer will work with you. We had no increase in DVT's or infections so we have stayed with our power injectables


Karen Day
Karen Day's picture
sorry, thought you said

sorry, thought you said piccs. my bad



I believe you said ports.  Contact your oncologists to see what patients typically get power injection that have cancer

For other patients I would contact your CT department and have them  run a DRG code list on who is getting power injection with ports

kathy Kokotis RN BS MBA

Bard Access Systsems

I believe the catheter

I believe the catheter material for the power injectable ports is PU for its physical properties.  This precludes the use of ethanol lock therapy.  In a patient population who use for the catheter would not include a trip to IR for a power injection, I recommend a silicone based catheter for my patients as their use of a catheter is for the administration of PN. 

R. Nishikawa, Pharm. D., BCNSP

RA Nishikawa, Pharm. D., BCNSP, FCSHP
Coordinator, Clinical Services
Director of Research
Nutrishare, Inc.
Elk Grove, CA


One can lock with an alcohol with a silicone power injectable groshong if one needs power injection and the abiity to lock with an alcohol as well

Kathy Kokotis RN BS MBA

Bard Access

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