Glossary Entry: Venous Access Port


Definition: A venous access port is a medical device implanted beneath the skin that provides a reliable and long-term way to access the venous system for medication administration, blood draws, and other medical procedures.

Detailed Description

Types and Variations

Variations: Venous access ports come in different sizes and configurations, with some designed for specific medical uses or patient needs. Variations may include single or double lumen ports, ports with different materials or coatings, and ports with differing catheter lengths.


Common Uses: Venous access ports are commonly used in patients undergoing chemotherapy, long-term medications, frequent blood transfusions, or the need for frequent blood draws. They provide a convenient and reliable access point for these medical procedures.

Insertion and Placement

Procedure: The insertion of a venous access port involves a surgical procedure to implant the device beneath the skin, usually in the chest area. The port is connected to a catheter that is threaded into a large vein. Proper placement and securement of the catheter is crucial for the optimal function of the port.

Clinical Considerations

Potential Complications

Risks: Potential complications of venous access ports include infection, thrombosis, catheter dislodgment, and catheter-related bloodstream infections. Careful monitoring and maintenance are essential to minimize these risks.

Care and Maintenance

Maintenance Requirements: Proper care and maintenance of venous access ports involve regular flushing with sterile saline and heparin to prevent blockages, as well as dressing changes and site care to prevent infections.

Additional Information

Related Devices

Associated Terms: Related devices include Huber needles for accessing the port, extension sets for connecting to IV tubing, and port needles for medication administration.

Innovations and Advancements

Recent Developments: Recent advancements in venous access ports include the use of antimicrobial materials to reduce infection risk, the development of smaller and more discreet port designs, and enhanced imaging techniques for accurate placement.

Regulatory and Safety Notes

Regulations: Venous access ports must adhere to regulations regarding their manufacture, use, and maintenance to ensure patient safety and regulatory compliance. Healthcare providers should also follow safety guidelines for the use and care of venous access ports.