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IV treatment at home

Home intravenous antibiotic therapy; Central venous catheter - home; Peripheral venous catheter - home; Port - home; PICC line - home; Infusion therapy - home; Home health care - IV treatment

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.

I Would Like to Learn About:

IV Treatment 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.

Why You Need IV Medicines at Home?

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.

Receiving Intravenous Treatments at Home

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.

Used needles need to be disposed of 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.

Problems to Watch For

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:

When to Call Your Health Care Provider

Call your health care provider if you or your child has any signs of infection, such as:

Call your local emergency number, such as 911, right away if you have:

References

Chu CS, Rubin SC. Basic principles of chemotherapy. In: DiSaia PJ, Creasman WT, Mannel RS, McMeekin DS, Mutch DG, eds. Clinical Gynecologic Oncology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 17.

Perry AG, Potter PA. Skill 35: Intravenous medications: intermittent infusion sets and mini-infusion pumps. In: Perry AG, Potter PA, eds. Mosby's Pocket Guide to Nursing Skills and Procedures. 8th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby; 2015:230.

Perry AG, Potter PA. Skill 36: Intravenous medications: intravenous bolus. In: Perry AG, Potter PA, eds. Mosby's Pocket Guide to Nursing Skills and Procedures. 8th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby; 2015:241.

Pong AL, Bradley JS. Outpatient intravenous antimicrobial therapy for serious infections. In: Cherry JD, Harrison GJ, Kaplan SL, Steinbach WJ, Hotez PJ, eds. Feigin and Cherry's Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 238.

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Review Date: 1/14/2018  

Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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