Home Infusion Therapy: Handling Supplies Safely

Home Infusion Therapy: Handling Supplies Safely

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Home Infusion Therapy: Handling Supplies Safely

With infusion therapy, medications or fluids flow through a flexible tube (catheter) that’s placed in a vein or just under the skin — usually on your arm or chest (infusion site).

Infusion therapy is a safe way to take medications or fluids that can’t be taken by mouth. A nurse will show you how to set up your home infusion system. Treatment will become part of your daily routine. Your supplies need to be kept sterile. Otherwise, they aren’t safe to use. Inspect, store, and dispose of supplies as directed by the nurse.

IV bag on pole with IV pump, tubing, needles and syringes, dressing and tape, and sharps container. Closeup of person disposing of syringe in sharps container.

Inspecting Your Supplies

  • Check the bag or bottle for leaks, cracks, broken seals, and contents that are cloudy or discolored.

  • Check the package for your name and for the correct medication or fluid. Also check the expiration date.

  • Inspect all supplies to be sure they’re sealed, clean, and dry, and have no cracks or tears.

Storing Your Supplies

  • Keep your supplies in a clean, dry place that’s out of the reach of children and pets.

  • Store medications or fluids as directed on the label. Some may need to be refrigerated.

Disposing of Used Supplies

  • Seal used dressings and tubing in a plastic bag. Throw the bag directly in the trash — unless the nurse tells you otherwise.

  • Put used needles and syringes directly into the sharps container.