DO YOU KNOW...

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. Below are steps for safely giving medicines by vein.

Know the medicine

Before giving any new medicine to your child, read about that medicine. Or ask your child’s doctor, nurse or pharmacist these questions:

  • What are the possible side effects of this medicine? And what can I do to lessen those?
  • What should I do if my child has a bad reaction?
  • How should I store this medicine? Most IV medicines are stored in the refrigerator. Keep all medicines out of children’s reach.

Supplies

  • Saline
  • Heparin _____ units/ml
  • Alcohol prep pads
  • 5ml syringe
  • 2 – 10ml syringes
  • Red cap
  • IV medicine dose
  • Antibacterial soap (any soap that says deodorant or antimicrobial)
  • Self-stick bandage

Procedure

  • Gather all supplies onto a clean work area.
  • Wash your hands for 15-20 seconds with the antibacterial soap. Use paper towels to dry your hands. Then, use the paper towels to turn off the faucets. For details, see “Do you know… Clean hands.”
  • Draw up 5ml of saline into each 10ml syringe. For details, see “Do you know… Withdrawing medicine from a vial.”
  • Draw up ____ml of ______unit/ml heparin into a 5ml syringe. This will only be used if your child is not receiving a continuous IV infusion.
  • If your child is on a continuous IV infusion, stop the pump and clamp the line.
    • Disconnect the infusion tubing from your child’s line.
    • Cover the end of the tubing with a red cap.
    • Be careful not to touch the end of the tubing.
  • Clean the needless connector on your child’s line. It is commonly called an end cap.
    • Using the alcohol pad, wipe the end cap for 7 seconds.
    • Let it dry for 7 seconds.
    • Do not blow on the end cap.

First saline flush

  • Connect the first saline syringe to the end cap. Do not touch the end of the cap or the plunger of the syringe.
  • Slowly push the saline into the line using a pulsating motion.
  • Remove the saline syringe from the line.
  • Clean the end cap again with an alcohol pad for 7 seconds. Let it dry for 7 seconds. Do not blow on the end cap.

Giving the medicine

  • Attach the medicine syringe to the end cap. Do not touch the end of the cap or the plunger of the syringe.
  • Slowly push the medicine into the line.
  • Remove the medicine syringe from the line.
  • Clean the end cap again with an alcohol pad for 7 seconds. Let it dry for 7 seconds. Do not blow on the end cap.

Second saline flush

  • Attach the second saline syringe to the end cap. Do not touch the end of the cap or the plunger of the syringe.
  • Slowly push the saline into the line using a pulsating motion.
  • Remove the saline syringe from the line.
  • If your child is on a continuous IV infusion:
  • Clean the end cap with alcohol;
  • Reconnect the pump tubing;
  • Release the clamp; and
  • Start the pump.

Heparin flush (if needed)

  • If your child is not receiving a continuous infusion, clean the end cap, and attach the heparin syringe.
  • Slowly push the heparin into the line using a pulsating motion. As you push the last bit of liquid into the line, close the clamp. This leaves a positive pressure in the line.
  • Remove the heparin syringe from the line.
  • Place a self-stick bandage over the end cap.
  • Loop the line, and tape the clamp flat to the chest.

Clean up

Questions?

If you have questions about giving IV medicines at home, talk to the nurse in your child's primary clinic, the line nurse, or the clinical pharmacist. If you are inside the hospital, dial 3300. Locally, call 595-3300. If you are outside the Memphis area, dial toll-free 1-866-2STJUDE (1-866-278- 5833), and press 0 when the call connects.


 

This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

  1-866-278-5833  تنبيه: إذا كنت تتحدث بلغة أخرى، فيمكنك الاستعانة بخدمات المساعدة اللغوية المتوفرة لك بالمجان. يرجى الاتصال بالرقم

.(1-901-595-1040 :الهاتف النصي)