Most people want to go home from the hospital as soon as possible. But sometimes they need to continue taking medicines or other treatments at home.
IV means giving medicines or fluids through a needle or tube (catheter) that goes into a vein. It includes any type of tube or catheter that goes into the vein, such as a:
Home IV treatment is a way you or your child can receive IV medicine without being in the hospital or going to a clinic.
You may need high doses of antibiotics or special types of antibiotics that you cannot take by mouth.
Other IV medicines you may receive after you leave the hospital are:
You or your child may need total parenteral nutrition (TPN) after a hospital stay. TPN is a special nutrition formula that is given through a vein in the body.
You or your child may also need extra fluids through an IV.
Often, home health care nurses will come to your home to give you your medicine. Sometimes a family member, friend, or you can give the IV medicine.
The nurse will check to make sure your IV is working well and there are no signs of infection. Then the nurse will give you the medicine or other fluid. It will be given as:
After you receive your medicine, the nurse will wait to see if you have any bad reaction. If you are fine, the nurse will leave your home.
You or the nurse will put used needles in a needle (sharps) container. Used IV tubing, bags, gloves, and other disposable supplies can go in a plastic bag and be put in the trash.
Watch for these problems:
These rare problems may cause breathing or heart problems:
Most times home health care nurses are available 24 hours a day. If you have a problem with your IV, you can call your home health care agency for help.
If the IV comes out of your vein:
Call your doctor or nurse if you have these signs of infection:
Call 9-1-1 right away if you have:
Home intravenous antibiotic therapy; Central venous catheter - home; Peripheral venous catheter - home; Port - home; PICC line - home
Intravascular therapy. Best Practices: Evidenced-based Nursing Procedures. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2007.
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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