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Deferoxamine infusion using Freedom60® pump


The doctor has decided to give a medicine called deferoxamine (Desferal®) to get rid of some of the excess iron that has built up in your child’s body. Deferoxamine binds with iron and helps remove it from the body. The medicine is given as an infusion into the fatty part of the skin over several hours.

Getting ready

  • Wash your hands with soap and water. Dry them well. Or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. See “Do you know… Clean Hands.
  • Clean a workspace with an alcohol prep pad. Throw away the alcohol pad.
  • Gather the supplies and open them onto this workspace.

Supplies needed

  • 60 ml syringe that contains deferoxamine
  • Freedom60® syringe infusion set F_
  • Subcutaneous (sub-Q) needle infusion set
  • Alcohol pads
  • Freedom60® pump
  • Bio-occlusive dressing
  • Tape
  • If needed to numb the skin: EMLA cream and a bio-occlusive dressing (clear plastic, protective dressing that is sticky on one side). This will be applied 30–60 minutes before starting the infusion procedure.


1. Read the label on the deferoxamine for instructions and to check the expiration date.

2. Wash your hands again.

3. Remove the sterile cap from the luer disc end of the tubing set. Do not touch the sterile end of the tubing and do not lay it down. Connect it to the syringe. You may now lay down the syringe and tubing.

4. Remove the sterile cap from the other end of the tubing set. Do not touch the sterile end of the tubing and do not lay it down. Secure it to the pigtail of the sub-Q needle set. Leave the needle covered at this time.

5. Load syringe into the Freedom60®pump.

  • Make sure that the pump’s on/off switch is in the “off” position and the black tab within the syringe shield is at the end of its track. If not, turn the large knob clockwise until the tab reaches the back.
Freedom60 pump
  • Load the syringe, plunger first, into the syringe shield. Make sure the tubing disc is fully seated in the pump’s nose.
Freedom60 pump

6. Prime the tubing with the pump by turning the pump on (). Priming may take 15 to 30 minutes.

7. Turn pump off before medicine reaches the needle.

8. Select one of these infusion locations:

  • Back of upper arm
  • Front of thigh
  • Abdomen (except for the navel and the waistline)

Rotating the infusion sites daily is important so that the fat areas do not get irritated and scarred.

9. Clean the chosen site with alcohol, starting in the center and wiping outward in a circle about 2 inches. Let site dry. Do not blot or wipe. Do not blow on the clean skin.

10. Pick up sub-Q needle and remove cover from needle.

11. Pinch the cleaned skin and fat between your thumb and first finger. Be careful not to touch the site itself.

12. Hold the needle between the thumb and first finger of the other hand. Insert the needle into the skin quickly like a dart. The quicker you insert the needle the less it hurts. The needle goes straight into the pinched skin. Then, release the skin.

13. Place the bio-occlusive dressing over the needle and a piece of tape over the tubing about 3 inches away from the site.

14. Turn the pump on to begin the infusion.

End of infusion

15. Check to make sure that the syringe is empty.

16. Turn the pump off and wind the large knob clockwise until the black tab is at the end of its track.

17. Remove the bio-occlusive dressing and needle from the skin. Discard the needle in a sharps container. See “Do You Know… Throwing away sharp objects safely.”

18. Gently lift the syringe back and up out of the pump. Throw away in regular trash.


Syringe will not stay inside in the pump

  • Make sure you are using the brand name Freedom60® rate controlled tubing set with the luer disc.
  • Make sure the luer disc end of the tubing has been connected to a 60 ml syringe and that it is seated properly in the nose of the pump.

No flow

  • Assure that the pump is in the on (–) position.
  • Make sure the slide clamp is unclamped or has not been used for an extended period of time. If the slide clamp is overused it can damage the tubing.
  • Test the tubing: While the pump is in the on (–) position, disconnect the Freedom60® infusion set tubing from the sub-Q needle set. To prevent infection, do not touch the ends of either the tubing or the needle set and do not lay down either. Check to see that the medicine is dripping.
    • If the medicine does not drip, replace the tubing because it may be blocked or damaged.
    • If medicine does drip from the Freedom60® infusion set tubing, then it is most likely a problem with the sub-Q needle set. Replace the sub-Q needle set.


If you have questions about how to give deferoxamine using the Freedom60® pump, please talk to the staff in the Specialty Infusion Pharmacy at 901-595-7464.


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).