At some point during treatment, the staff may decide to use a subcutaneous tissue infusion set to give some of your child’s medicines. This set has a small needle that a staff member will insert just under the skin’s surface. Most often, the set can stay in place for up to 7 days.
Using a subcutaneous tissue infusion set can decrease the number of times your child must have an injection (shot) to receive medicine that is needed often. Not all medicines can be given through an infusion set. Your doctor or nurse will explain which medicines you should give your child through the set.
Placing the set
A nurse will apply numbing cream to your child’s skin, so there will be no pain when the small needle enters the skin. The nurse will clean the skin before inserting the needle. After placing the set, the nurse will cover it with a clear, tape-like cover, called a bio-occlusive dressing.
To avoid infection, the set should not be immersed in water. For this reason, your child cannot go swimming. He can have a bath or shower as long as the set is not covered in water.
After it has been placed, the set should not be painful. And, usually receiving medicine through the set will not cause pain. If your child has more than mild discomfort, you should call the clinic doctor or nurse right away.
If you notice any signs of infection, such as fever, redness, drainage or swelling, report these to the clinic doctor or nurse right away.
Giving medicine through a subcutaneous tissue infusion set
- Syringe with medicine
- Alcohol pad
- End cap
- 1 ml syringe with 0.1 ml saline (if needed)
- Gather supplies.
- Wash your hands for 15-20 seconds with an antibacterial soap. Dry your hands with a clean towel or paper towels. Then, use the same towel to turn off the water faucets.
- Using the alcohol pad, wipe the connection between the end cap and the “pigtail” of the infusion set with the alcohol pad for 7 seconds. Let it dry for 7 seconds. Do not blow on it to make it dry faster.
- Remove the end cap.
- Attach the medicine syringe to the pigtail. Slowly push the plunger to give the medicine. Give no more than 1.5ml of medicine at a time.
- The nurse will tell you if the infusion set must be flushed with saline after giving the medicine. If needed, remove the medicine syringe from the pigtail, and attach the saline syringe. You will flush the set with 0.1ml of saline if needed.
- Remove the syringe.
- Place a new sterile end cap on the pigtail.
- Wash and dry your hands again.
To learn more about how to care for your child while using a subcutaneous tissue infusion set, talk to your child’s clinic doctor or nurse. If you are in the local area, dial 595-3300. If you are outside the Memphis area, dial toll-free 1-866-2STJUDE (1-866-278-5833) and press 0. After hours and on weekends, ask to speak to the doctor on-call.
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).
تنبيه: إذا كنت تتحدث باللغة العربية فيمكنك الاستعانة بخدمات المساعدة اللغوية المتوفرة لك مجانا. .يرجى الاتصال بالرقم. 5833-278-866-1 (الهاتف النصي: 1040-595-901-1).