when veins are fragile
Since patients with cancer, AIDS and other serious chronic diseases are living longer, the use of intravenously (IV) administrated medication to sustain life or to improve the personís quality of life has increased. Unfortunately, a number of patients have exhausted their option for IV administration due to fragile veins or complications associated with prolonged use of IV needles or catheters.
In 1989 John G. Kuhn, PharmD, professor of pharmacology, and Daniel D. Von Hoff, MD, clinical professor of medicine, both at the Health Science Center, developed a device called the Osteoport to meet a critical need of those patients, an alternative method of infusing fluids into the bloodstream.
The bolt-like device is implanted in the hip or shinbone and its self-sealing rubber cap lies just below the skin. A needle can be inserted through the skin and into the plug. The injected fluids are then absorbed into the bloodstream through the veins in the bone marrow. The upper left illustration shows the insertion of a needle through the skin and into the plug of the Osteoport which has been implanted in the hip (lower right).
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