Swapna Kakani is studying for a master’s degree in public health. But it’s more than academics for her. Her 30 years as a patient have taught her how to partner with her care providers and how to advocate for her own care.
In my journey of 30 years, I’ve had 65 surgeries,” she says. “I’ve had 31 central lines, and of those, 25 have been affected by bacterial or fungal infections. Swapna
Swapna was born with short bowel syndrome and has depended on intravenous feeding to get adequate nutrition for most of her life.
Through the years, she set goals for herself including being free of her IVs and tubes. Swapna has had many setbacks along the way, but she’s seen a lot and learned how best to avoid infections. She is now an advocate for improvements in rare disease care and improving care for central venous access devices (CVADs).
By following a checklist of protocols and by having care providers who follow those protocols – from hand washing to wearing a mask and gloves – she has now been able to avoid a central line-associated bloodstream infection for 12 years.
“It’s a team effort between the patient and health care providers,” says Swapna. “It starts with understanding the why behind the practices – if you understand the gravity and purpose of care, you will be more effective.”
Swapna’s medical journey is a powerful reminder of the importance of care advocates and of central line protocols. Watch the webinar, My Line is My Lifeline, to learn more about Swapna’s success, and how you can be an advocate for your vascular access patients while improving line care.