Pain management for your child with cancer

Children have different ways of letting us know they are in pain. The same procedure can cause a different amount of pain each time a child has the same procedure.

Medicines which relieve pain are called analgesics. If your child is able to take medicine or tablets, then this is how they will receive pain relief.  If your child has very strong pain, they may need intravenous medicine because this works fastest.

An external catheter is a thin, flexible, partially implanted silicone tube which extends outside the body. Inside the body, the catheter lies under the skin of the chest. It goes into a central vein near a small incision by the neck.

A central venous catheter is a device that allows health professionals to give medicines, fluids and blood products into a large central vein leading directly into the heart.

A peripherally inserted central catheter (known as a PICC or PIC line) is a temporary, short-term central venous catheter sometimes used when your child is in hospital. 

A port-a-cath/powerport, known as a port, is a small chamber, about the size of a 20 cent coin. It has a silicone centre that can be pricked with a special needle many times. It has a thin flexible silicone tube attached.