Childhood Cancer

Childhood Leukemia

Choosing Not to Use a Catheter

Many doctors automatically schedule surgery for catheter implantation as soon as a child is diagnosed with leukemia. A few, however, do not recommend using central venous catheters in their pediatric patients. If your child’s doctor recommends not using one, ask why and discuss it thoroughly if you are uncomfortable with the options presented.

Stephan (6 years old) has no catheter. Sometimes I wish he had one. It seems like it would be easier. We were told he didn’t need it. He is running out of usable veins and it is getting harder and harder.

Some children and teens prefer IVs to an implanted catheter.

My son had a port for a very short time, and due to frequent fevers (with no evidence of infection) and because he had a blood clot form in his heart, they pulled the port. He had IVs for the remainder of treatment and was much happier with the IVs than with what he called “that foreign object in my chest.”