Background: Patients in our health region received 1 of 2 different arm ports, totally implanted venous access devices (TIVADs), for the management of their malignancies. One of the ports was a nonpower-injectable design and the other was power-injectable. Infusion nurses most commonly access TIVADs in our health region. It was our goal to evaluate infusion nursing access events for these 2 different TIVADs to determine whether nurses experienced any practical, or functional, differences based on port design.

Methods: For this quality assurance project a locally designed, paper-based, questionnaire was developed and administered. Infusion nurses completed the questionnaire after they had accessed an arm TIVAD for intravenous chemotherapy. Sequential access events were tracked for 2 months.

Results: There were no statistically significant differences in the responses related to the 2 different TIVAD designs. Identifying the type of implanted TIVAD for each access event in the study group provided some challenges for the infusion nurses. Eighteen nonpower-injectable ports were erroneously identified as power-injectable.

Conclusions: The results illustrate that our local cancer center infusion nurses were a very experienced group who have been able to adapt to the 2 different arm TIVAD designs. There was no statistically different access event parameters for the 2 different port designs. Additional end-user education may be warranted to improve port design identification.

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