Bowel cancer treatment and side effects

Kate M

Allergic to Tagaderm

Am about to start on Folfiri on Thursday. Apart from the usual concerns re chemo I had a lot of trouble last year with an allergic reaction to the PICC line dressings. I was OK initially then they changed the dressings and the skin on my arm became red and itchy, ultimately crusting and supperating to the point where they had to take the line out. I understand the new dressings contained tagaderm (sorry if spelling not right) and am dreading the same thing happening again. Has anyone else had this problem and does anyone know of an alternative dressing. Thanks KateM :x::x:

Polly 1

I took this photo the day after a new PICC was put in.....we didnt realise it would be a problem at the time so didnt say anything when a different dressing was used....and yes nurses were queuing up to have a look!
@Liriodendron345 @Kate M

Polly 1

The District nurses usually use little cleaning wipes to clean the sticky stuff off the line and he also has to make sure that it completely dries before they stick the dressing on top otherwise he gets a red line following the line of the tube.

While he is connected to the chemo they usually take all dressings off leaving it open to the air. The nurses put Sobaderm on the area and leave it for the 7+ hours it takes to have all the chemo

The orange securacath in the photo eventually worked its way out (awful mess) with the metal bits cutting through so he's now back on the sticky one unfortunately the sticky ones are now causing allergic reactions/redness

Kate M

Hi @Liriodenron345 and @Polly 1. very shocked to see the pic, what a dreadful reaction. When my new PICC was put in on Tuesday they used the IV3000 dressing at my suggestion but also gave me a couple of ClearFilm transparent film dressing 815101 made by richardson healthcare. When the district nurse came the day after the line was fitted she took the IV 3000off to clean the arm and saw straight away some redness so she has replaced it with the clear film..That does seem less itchy. When she comes again if it still looks irritated the hospital say it would be ok to clean it with saline rather than chloraprep so that's something else to try. Other than that the hospital just say keep an eye on it. Not particularly helpful - I need to know what I am reacting to not just trial and error. Thankfully the district nurses now use statlocks instead of griplocks which I definitely reacted to. Thanks for your responses. Much love Kate :x::x:

Clancy

Gosh @Polly 1 , that port entry looks angry. It reminds me of a donor site for skin grafting. I hope it settles soon.:x::x:

Lirio345

Hi @Kate M, really hope things settle for you in terms of the allergy. My hospital did refer me to a Dermatologist who was very supportive. However the only way to get to the bottom of things was for me to attend hospital daily for about a week whilst they carried out skin sensitivity tests. We both decided that I already spent too much time in hospital and as the sterile saline was making a big difference, we would leave it. I had antibiotics and steroid cream for a week or two and things settled down. I only use the Mepore dressings now, but that is with my portacath as I no longer have a PICC line.Take very good care, Kim :x::x:

Kate M

Thanks @Kim. Yes, I too, only use Mepore and am using saline instead of chloraprep. Also the Clear film seems good. The bad news is Statlocks seem impossible to get hold of and Griplocks ooze after about 2 days. So am on a mission re statlocks but suspect they're now unavailable. will try the open forum to see if anyone can advise of anything else. Much love Kate :x::x:

Lirio345

Oh @Kate M, you are really having a rough ride. Sticking my neck out now .... if you are unable to source statlocks I am wondering if you wouldn’t be better off with a Port under the skin. I have a Portacath, - google to see how they work if you are interested. In my experience there is less to trigger allergies ...... but obviously this is a discussion for you and the chemo nurses team? Really hope that this is resolved soon, Kim :x::x:

Kate M

Hi @Liriodendron345. Have been googling and found the type of statlock which worked for me was made by a company called Bard and they withdrew the product in May 2017 due to some products being sent out without full product information. Bugger. what next. KateM :x::x:

Lirio345

This is very testing @Kate M, but if things don’t improve I think that you need to put it firmly back to your chemo team. It is their responsibility to ensure that your chemo treatment goes as smoothly as possible which obviously includes trying to remove any barriers such as significant allergies. You may need to make contact with the senior nurse/manager and be very assertive. Let us know how things go, Kim :x::x:

Polly 1

Hi @Kate M the one my hubbie has is made by Bard - see images. There dosnt seem to be a problem here getting them supplied (so far!)
The last couple of treatments he has had them replaced due to rash all around and when removed they take a layer of skin off as his skin is quite sore/sensitive at times due to Cetux rash 😕

Polly 1

Kate M

Oh @Polly 1 that's the baby!! I would be so grateful if you could let me know who can supply them. I know all centres have different suppliers but any info on where to get them would be so much appreciated. Love you loads KateM :x::x::x::x::x::x::x:

Polly 1

DM sent @Kate M

Kate M

Hi @Polly 1. Have spoken to your chemo unit today - a very nice ward sister - who confirmed they do, indeed, supply the statlocks I need but explained that it is up to the hospital's contract with their supplier as to what they can get. well, at least I know they still make them so will tackle my oncologist on Monday. Thank you once again. Love Kate :x::x:

Polly 1

Oh good glad they helped you - at least a bit. They are lovely nurses/sisters there.

I hope you manage to get somewhere with your Oncologist next week...fingers crossed :x:

Polly 1

Hi @Kate M

C has had his picc removed now. Even since his pump was attached on Wednesday his skin had started to react under the IV3000 and newly positioned statlock.

They put a '365' dressing on the old picc entry point. The nurse that did it was surprised they hadnt tried this type of dressing on his picc line before but I suppose it wouldn't have made any difference to the decision about a Hickman line as he was reacting so much to the statlock adhesive now.

They told us that after the Hickman wounds heal there wont be any dressings at all. The line is stitched in and the skin holds it in place

Polly 1

Hi @Kate M how are you getting on with dressings etc now?

Kate M

Hello @Polly 1. The saga continues! Went for chemo last week and had a bit of a discussion with the ward sister who pointed out very firmly I am an out patient not an in patient and, therefore, it is the district nurses who are responsible for supplying my dressings. Even spoke to the consultant who was happy to write a prescription but the pharmacy said they don't supply dressings. Hooray for the gold hearted nurse who quietly slipped me a statlock when no one was looking!! Moving on, one of the district nurses rang today to say she has got me some statlocks by special order - well, we'll see what arrives as the last lot were for urinary catheters. Now just the clearfilm dressings to go and maybe things will be improving. In terms of my arm it's nice and comfy with my statlock and dressing and I want it to stay that way. So glad they are doing something for your husband. The Hickman line sounds like a good solution so that, at least, he will be able to continue with his treatment. Kate :x::x:

Polly 1

Oh dear @Kate M I cant believe they are making life so difficult for you.
You could always check with your local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) who is supposed to supply what.
We originally had problems getting community nurses to disconnect the pump as they 'hadnt been trained'. I read in the local paper that the CCG were 'doing everything they could to make life easier for cancer patients'. So I contacted them to explain they were making life difficult for C - within a week the nurses had been trained.
Our chemo unit supply everything needed to look after the line - sterile packs, needles, syringes, saline, IV3000 dressings, stera strips, statlocks, tube bandages etc . The community nurses just bring an apron as the sterile packs dont have aprons inside - at the unit they are dispensed from a roll on the wall.

Kate M

Morning @Polly 1. Thanks for the advice. It's a litle bit different here - the community nurses are supposed to keep us stocked up - the hospital just provides the basics for the first visit. I've learned to keep an eye on my goody box to see what's running low - even the saline (and heparin in the past) we have to get from our local chemist by prescription. Oh what fun. Never mind - day 6 after chemo - coming out of yesterday's gloom (always days 3 - 5 the worst) think I'll jump in the car and go for a walk to chase the cobwebs away. Kate :x::x: