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Central Line Holder campaign

Within two days of being admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham for chemotherapy in June 2013, I had a Hickman Line fitted. A Hickman Line is a fantastic medical device which allows medication to be infused and blood to be taken without the use of needles. The downside is that a Hickman Line is a flexible rubber/silicone tube which is threaded beneath your skin. My line was connected to a main vein in my neck and protruded through my chest. You could just about feel the tube beneath my skin if you followed the route the tube took. When in hospital it was flushed and cleaned before every use and after discharge, I had district nurses flushing the line with Heparin solution every week. I had my line in place for a few months as it was used for my Flag/Ida chemotherapy treatment and my stem cell transplant at the end of October 2013. By late November 2013, I was rushed to hospital with an excessively high temperature. An infected Hickman Line was one of the possible causes of the infection and the line was removed. Having had a Hickman Line inserted and removed, and having lived with one for around five months, I am aware of the problems they can cause. Infection is always a risk but then you also have the added issue of catching the line on clothing - plus how do you shower with a plastic hosepipe poking out of your chest? It’s for this reason that I decided to back Sarah Cheeseman’s Hickman Line project. Sarah - who had a Hickman Line herself following diagnosis with Aplastic Anaemia in 2007 - designed and invented the Central Line Holder to help living with a line a little easier. We need to get more hospitals to stock and help promote the Central Line Holder and so in April/May 2014 I started sending letters to the Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Burton MP Andrew Griffiths. Within a few weeks, MP Andrew Griffiths had replied. He liked the idea and pledged to write to the chief executive of the Queen’s Hospital in Burton to help back-up my original letter. Days later, Central Line Holder inventor Sarah Cheeseman received notification from the hospital that they were interested in the holder and would stock leaflets promoting the device - success. The Burton Mail and Burton & South Derbyshire Advertiser subsequently ran stories to help further promote Sarah’s invention. CLICK HERE for the online version of the story. For more details visit: www.centrallineholder.com