Infusion therapy at home is a way to receive treatment your doctor has prescribed, without having to go to a hospital or clinic. It is a safe and effective alternative to in-patient care. A thorough patient assessment and home assessment is done before starting home infusion therapy.
How is home infusion therapy done?
A patient receiving infusion therapy is administered medication or fluid through a needle or tube, called a catheter, that goes directly into a vein beneath the surface of the skin. A home health nurse may help give the medication or fluid. In some cases a caregiver, or a family member, may learn how to assist the patient with infusion therapy at home. Patients may also learn to self-administer infusion therapy.
Common home infusion therapies include:
- Normal IV (one inserted into a vein just below your skin)
- Central venous catheter (called a port)
- PICC line
Common reasons for home infusion therapy:
- Many antibiotics cannot be taken by mouth
- Some antibiotics are more effectively delivered by IV
- Treatment for hormone deficiency
- Patient-controlled analgesia pain relief
- Nutrition given through a vein
What do I need to know about home infusion therapy?
Home IV therapy is a safe and effective way to receive medication, nutrition and fluid at home. If you or the patient you are caring for are experiencing any of the following problems, contact your provider or home health nurse:
- Swelling in the vein or in the area around the needle
- Infection signs, including swelling, redness, pain or fever
- Needle coming out
- Bleeding from the area of the needle or tube