Home intravenous antibiotic therapy; Central venous catheter - home; Peripheral venous catheter - home; Port - home; PICC line - home; Infusion therapy - home
You or your child will be going home from the hospital soon. The doctor has prescribed medicines or other treatments that you or your child need to take at home.
IV (intravenous) means giving medicines or fluids through a needle or tube (catheter) that goes into a vein. The tube or catheter may be one of the following:
Home IV treatment is a way for you or your child to receive IV medicine without being in the hospital or going to a clinic.
You may need high doses of antibiotics or antibiotics that you cannot take by mouth.
Other IV treatments you may receive after you leave the hospital include:
You or your child may need total parenteral nutrition (TPN) after a hospital stay. TPN is a nutrition formula that is given through a vein.
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 the medicine. Sometimes, a family member, a friend, or you yourself can give the IV medicine.
The nurse will check to make sure the IV is working well and there are no signs of infection. Then the nurse will give the medicine or other fluid. It will be given in one of the following ways:
After you receive your medicine, the nurse will wait to see if you have any bad reactions. 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 there is a problem with the IV, you can call your home health care agency for help.
If the IV comes out of the vein:
Call your doctor or nurse if you or your child have any signs of infection, such as:
Call 9-1-1 right away if you have:
Intravascular therapy. Lippincott's Nursing Procedures. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2009:chap 6.
National Home Infusion Association. Infusion FAQs. 2014. http://www.nhia.org/faqs.cfm. Accessed May 11, 2014.
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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