The use of vascular access ports for blood collection in feline blood donors



Aubert, Isabelle

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University of Guelph


This thesis is an investigation of the use of vascular access ports (VAP) for blood collection in cats. The objectives of the study were to document the ease and complications associated with the placement, maintenance, use and removal of VAP for blood collection in cats over a 6-month period, assess the level of systemic hypotension associated with the collection and the quality of the blood collected.;Eight cats underwent conventional blood collections, which involved jugular venipuncture performed on heavily sedated cats, at the beginning and the end of the study. All cats underwent surgical placement of VAP which were used for blood collection every 6 to 8 weeks over a 6-month period and then surgically removed. Fluctuations in blood pressure during collection were compared between methods. Parameters conventionally used as indicators of blood quality including albumin, hematocrit, glucose and potassium levels, lactate dehydrogenase activity, blood pH, erythrocyte osmotic fragility and blood sterility were assessed in samples from blood obtained by both conventional and VAP collections, before and after a 25-day storage period.;Vascular access port collections were successfully performed 30 out of 31 times. Sampling occlusions were common but were invariably correctable through cervical manipulations. Other complications included development of seromas (3) and excoriations (3) at site of device insertion, behavioral abnormalities during blood collection (2), dehiscence of the surgical wound (1), device infection (1) and device fracture (1). Sedation was used in 6/8 cats to facilitate cervical manipulations and/or reduce the incidence of behavioral abnormalities. All devices were covered with a thick fibrotic capsule at the time of removal. Cytological and histological evaluation of the fibrotic capsule, and fluid entrapped within it, suggested marked active inflammation. The use of VAP for blood collection resulted in a significantly higher blood pressure nadir and a smaller drop in systolic blood pressure than conventional collection did. Osmotic fragility of erythrocytes obtained through VAP collection was significantly greater than that of erythrocytes from conventional collection, both before and after storage. This suggests that the quality of blood obtained through VAP collection may not be equivalent to that of blood obtained through conventional collection.



Blood collection, Cats, Vascular access ports, Blood pressure, Blood quality