Offering breast cancer patients a choice of device for administration of chemotherapy: a service improvement project
evidence and practice    

Offering breast cancer patients a choice of device for administration of chemotherapy: a service improvement project

Caroline Thrush Central line sister, day case unit, Weston Park Hospital, Sheffield, England
Rosalind Gartside Central line sister, day case unit, Weston Park Hospital, Sheffield, England
Lesley Phillipson Central line sister, day case unit, Weston Park Hospital, Sheffield, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand variations in complication rates between cannula and peripherally inserted central catheters

  • To learn about the effectiveness of a service model whereby patients with breast cancer are given a choice of central venous access devices (CVADs)

  • To recognise that patients may have preferences for the type of CVAD used

Anthracycline drugs are used in combination chemotherapy regimens to increase the survival rates of people with breast cancer. However, epirubicin hydrochloride, a widely used anthracycline drug, can damage the venous network of the arm and cause long-term complications when administered through a cannula. The use of central venous access devices, such as peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs), can mitigate these complications, but this option is not always discussed with patients at an early point in their treatment pathway.

This article describes a service improvement project that offered patients with breast cancer who received vesicant chemotherapy a choice between a PICC and a cannula as early in their treatment as possible. Evaluation of the project showed that patients preferred PICCs and that this has improved their experience of care and potentially reduced the risk of complications associated with cannula-administered vesicant chemotherapy.

Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2020.e1692

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

c.thrush@nhs.net

Conflict of interest

None declared

Thrush C, Gartside R, Phillipson L (2020) Offering breast cancer patients a choice of device for administration of chemotherapy: a service improvement project. Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2020.e1692

Published online: 13 July 2020

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