Dahlin L, Taxbro K, Hammarskjöld F
World J Surg Oncol 20 (1) 103 [2022-03-31; online 2022-03-31]
Vascular access in cancer patients is of great importance in order to deliver tumour-specific therapy and continues to be so during exceptional conditions. This study aimed to examine the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic on the care and complication rates associated with subcutaneous venous port (PORT) insertion in cancer treatment. We retrospectively studied all adult cancer patients that received a PORT in 2020 at a Swedish county hospital, including insertion characteristics and in-dwell complication rates for up to 6 months after implantation; these estimates were compared with historic data. Data from 257 patients, of which 56 were haematological patients, were included and compared with those of 168 patients in the control group. The group characteristics were similar, except for the inclusion of haematological patients in the study group. Insertion characteristics showed a shorter waiting time and higher rates of antibiotic and sedative use during the pandemic. The rates of postoperative haematoma and catheter occlusion during the study period were higher than otherwise. The rates of adverse events related to the PORT in the solid tumour group were comparable to those in the control group (18.4% vs. 14.9%). Patients with haematological malignancies were more likely to experience adverse events (37.5% vs. 18.4%) and deep venous thrombosis (7.1% vs. 1.0%) than those with solid tumours. In conclusion, the present findings suggest that PORTs remain a safe venous access system even during a pandemic, indicating a robust vascular access service.