The Story of Fang Fang
The story of Fang Fang, a three-year-old Chinese girl with acute leukemia, demonstrates the need for central line catheters in pediatric oncology patients in China.
One year ago, Fang Fang, a three-year-old Chinese girl from Henan Province, was admitted to the oncology center at Shanghai Children’s Medical Center (SCMC) with acute leukemia. Her treatment required two years of weekly chemotherapy as well as antibiotics and regular blood draws to monitor her red and white blood cell counts. Without chemotherapy, her leukemia would progress to the point that she would die.
The standard of care in the United States for pediatric chemotherapy treatments is immediately to implant a central line catheter for the administration of all chemotherapy, antibiotics and blood draws throughout the two-year duration of treatments. In China, it is not the medical standard. Instead, each time Fang Fang needed to have an intravenous treatment, a peripheral IV would be administered.
Every day, the IV insertion for Fang Fang was very painful. When peripheral veins were not visible, she received IVs in her fingers, toes, hands arms, legs, torso and eventually her head. She would writhe in pain and try to get away from the nurses.
Fortunately Project HOPE intervened. Through our training and support, health professionals at SCMC have now received training in the proper use of the Port-A-Catheter, a type of central line catheter. Use of the Port-A-Catheter is now the standard of care for treating pediatric cancer at SCMC, and its use is expanding to other children’s hospitals in China as well.
Thanks to donors like you and the support of a generous corporate donor, Fang Fang received a Port-A-Catheter. Now her treatments are much more comfortable. She is free to play about the room during her sessions.