Intravenous and Nutrition Therapy at Home
Many times after leaving the hospital a course of intravenous or infusion therapy will be prescribed. The administration of this therapy often times is much more technical than the average individual can handle. This is where home health care and administration of infusion therapy comes in.
IV or intravenous, means giving medicines or food through a needle or tube. Sometimes you can give yourself the treatment and a nurse will just have to check on you. Other times a nurse will be needed to actually give the therapy each and every time.
Some examples of IV therapy include:
- Hormone deficiencies
- Medicines to counteract nausea due to chemotherapy, etc.
- Pain medication
Problems to watch out for:
• A hole in the skin where the IV is — medicine or fluid can go into the tissue around the vein. This could harm the skin or tissue.
• Swelling of the vein — this can lead to a blood clot (called thrombophlebitis).
These rare problems may cause breathing or heart problems:
• A bubble of air gets into the vein and travels to the heart or lungs (called an air embolism)
• An allergic or other serious reaction to the medicine
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:
• First, put pressure over the opening where the IV was until the bleeding stops.
• Then call the home health care agency or the doctor right away.