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Home Infusion Therapy

Woman sitting at home reading, with chemo infusion port in chest.

Infusion therapy is a safe way to take medicines or fluids that can’t be taken by mouth. Instead, they flow through a flexible tube (catheter) that’s placed in a vein or just under the skin—usually on your arm or chest. This is called the infusion site.

Advantages of home therapy

Home infusion therapy allows you to live a more normal life. Home therapy also costs less than treatment in a hospital. With proper care, the risk of infection can be low.

Your role

With home therapy you take an active role in your treatment. A home healthcare company brings your supplies, and a nurse shows you what to do. You need to know the following:

  • Who to call in an emergency

  • What supplies you need

  • How to prevent infection

  • How to handle and store your supplies safely

  • Where to get support

When to call the nurse

Call the nurse if you notice any of the following problems:

  • There is redness, swelling, drainage, or pain around the infusion site.

  • Your temperature is higher than normal or you have chills.

  • You have swelling in your chest, arm, or neck. Fluid may be leaking into the tissue.

  • The catheter or tubing comes out.

Turn off the system and call the nurse if:

  • The pole falls over and something breaks, or you have a problem putting the pole upright and restarting the system.

  • The solution isn’t running smoothly through the tubing.

  • There is a tear or leak in the tubing or the catheter.

  • The alarm on the pump comes on.

Online Medical Reviewer: LoCicero, Richard, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Sather, Rita, RN
Date Last Reviewed: 6/1/2018
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