Home Care Guidelines

"Do you know ..." is an educational series for patients and their families.

After a subcutaneous port is removed

Follow these important guidelines after your child’s subcutaneous port is removed.

After oral surgery

This handout offers guidelines to help your child recover from oral surgery. By following these instructions, you can reduce the chance of your child having problems after the procedure.

CADD Prizm® pump alarms

If you are using the CADD Prizm® pump, follow the chart in this handout to help you understand why the pump alarm is beeping.

Chemotherapy by mouth at home

Oral chemotherapy (chemo) is any cancer-fighting drug that the patient will take by mouth. It can be in the form of a tablet, capsule, or liquid.


Your child could become constipated (unable to have a bowel movement) if he does not drink enough fluids, does not eat enough fiber, or does not get enough exercise. Certain kinds of chemotherapy and other medicines also can cause constipation. To help correct constipation, try these ideas.


Some chemotherapy and other medicines can cause diarrhea. Radiation therapy focused on the stomach or intestines also can cause diarrhea. These ideas may help if your child has diarrhea.


Your child’s disease and treatments might make him feel more tired than usual. This feeling is called “fatigue.” Here we offer possible causes for fatigue, signs of fatigue you may see in your child, and steps you can take to help.

Giving IV fluids at home

If the doctor prescribes IV fluids, follow the directions closely for your child's safety.

Giving IV medicines at home

Most patients at St. Jude receive some medicines by IV (by vein). You may be asked to give some of these medicines at home.

How to check urine for glucose and ketones

How and when to check your child's urine for glucose and ketones, and how to read the test results.

How to give intramuscular injections

Medicines that you give into a muscle are called intramuscular (IM) injections. These injections (shots) are given into areas of the body called injection sites. The nurse will show you the steps for giving the shots and give you time to practice before you give an IM injection to your child.

How to give subcutaneous injections

Medicines you give just below the skin are called subcutaneous (subQ) injections (shots). These injections are given into special fatty areas of the body called injection sites. The nurse will show you the steps for giving the shots and give you time to practice before you give a subQ injection to your child.

IV pump safety for patients

During your child's treatment at St. Jude, she may spend many hours hooked to an IV (intravenous) pump. It is important for you to know what the pump is, how it is used, and some guidelines for its safe use.

Nausea and vomiting

Your child may have nausea (an upset stomach) or may vomit (throw up) if treatment affects his stomach lining. Here are some ideas to help decrease nausea and vomiting.

Obtaining medical supplies

When your child needs medical supplies, request them from your nurse.

Subcutaneous tissue infusion set

Some medicine may be given through a Subcutaneous Tissue Infusion Set. This set has a small needle that is inserted just under the skin's surface. The set can generally stay in place for up to 7 days without being removed. This handout shows you how to use and care for the set.

Throwing away sharp objects safely

Parents and other caregivers often use sharp objects, such as needles and syringes, to care for sick children at home. If these sharp objects are not thrown away safely, they can cause injury, illness, and pollution.

Travel after sedation or anesthesia

This handout provides guidelines for traveling with your child after she has received anesthesia or sedation.

Using the Eclipse® medicine device

The Eclipse® medicine device is an easy, safe, and portable way for you to infuse (give) intravenous (IV) medicines at home or away from the hospital. You use the Eclipse® device only one (1) time, and then throw it away.

Weight loss and other related side effects

Avoiding weight loss is an important goal during cancer treatment and the treatment of other diseases.

Withdrawing medicine from a vial

Sometimes it may be necessary for you to give medicine to your child while you are away from the hospital. The medicine may be inside a syringe when you get it from a staff member, or you may have to withdraw the medicine from a small vial.