Background: Effective and reliable venous access is among the cornerstones of modern medical therapy in oncology.
Materials and Methods: This was a prospective observational study of collected data of patients with a diagnosis of any cancer, at a tertiary care oncology hospital in Ahmadabad, Gujarat, India, during a 2-year period.
Results: A Hickman catheter was inserted in 200 patients and most commonly used in solid malignancies (n = 103; 51.5%), followed by hematologic conditions (n = 93; 48.5%). Among solid malignancies, hepatoblastoma (n = 21; 10.5%) was the most common indication, whereas in hematologic malignancies acute lymphoblastic leukemia was the most common indication (n = 56; 28%) for Hickman catheter insertion. Hickman catheters were inserted most commonly in the right side (n = 170; 85%) of the venous system. The various complications in the Hickman study group in descending order were 28 patients (14%) developed arrhythmias, 15 patients (7.5%) developed infection, 12 patients (6%) developed bleeding, 8 patients (4%) developed pneumothorax, 7 patients (3.5%) developed catheter blockage, and 6 patients (3%) required premature catheter removal. The median time of Hickman catheter in situ was 207 days.
Conclusions: The most disturbing aspect of treatment of patients with cancer is multiple painful venipunctures made for administration of cytotoxic agents, antibiotics, blood products, and nutritional supplements. The focus of this prospective observational research was to study the various indications for Hickman catheter in different solid and hematologic malignancies as well as the various complications and outcomes in pediatric and adult cancer patients.