Purpose: Implantable venous access devices (IVADs), either centrally or peripherally implanted, have become increasingly popular in children with hemophilia to assist in the early treatment of bleeding episodes and in the prevention of arthropathy. Their use has been associated with complications including thrombosis, thrombophlebitis, and infection. We attempted to better define whether the benefits associated with IVADs in this population outweigh the associated risks. Patients and Methods: We studied the medical records of 35 children from the University of Minnesota’s Comprehensive Hemophilia Center who received IVADs between 1992 and 1996. Results: There was no bleeding or thrombophlebitis associated with IVADs in our population. One patient required removal of a central IVAD due to thrombosis. The central IVADs were associated with local infection and bacteremia rates of 3% and 33%, respectively. The rates of local infection and bacteremia associated with peripheral IVADs were both 25%. The majority of infections were cleared with antibiotics, and ports remained intact. Both types of IVADs were associated with a high patient/parent satisfaction. Conclusion: Despite being associated with a significant incidence of infection, we believe the benefits of IVADs for children with hemophilia and their families outweigh the risks. Possible explanations for the observed infection rates are discussed.
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- Implantable venous access devices