Home intravenous antibiotic therapy; Central venous catheter - home; Peripheral venous catheter - home; Port - home; PICC line - home; Infusion therapy - home; Home health care - IV treatment
You or your child will be going home from the hospital soon. The doctor has prescribed medicines or other treatments that you or your child need to take at home.
IV (intravenous) means giving medicines or fluids through a needle or tube (catheter) that goes into a vein. The tube or catheter may be one of the following:
Home IV treatment is a way for you or your child to receive IV medicine without being in the hospital or going to a clinic.
You may need high doses of antibiotics or antibiotics that you cannot take by mouth.
Other IV treatments you may receive after you leave the hospital include:
You or your child may need total parenteral nutrition (TPN) after a hospital stay. TPN is a nutrition formula that is given through a vein.
You or your child may also need extra fluids through an IV.
Often, home health care nurses will come to your home to give you the medicine. Sometimes, a family member, a friend, or you yourself can give the IV medicine.
The nurse will check to make sure the IV is working well and there are no signs of infection. Then the nurse will give the medicine or other fluid. It will be given in one of the following ways:
After you receive your medicine, the nurse will wait to see if you have any bad reactions. If you are fine, the nurse will leave your home.
Used needles need to be disposed of in a needle (sharps) container. Used IV tubing, bags, gloves, and other disposable supplies can go in a plastic bag and be put in the trash.
Watch for these problems:
These rare problems may cause breathing or heart problems:
Most times home health care nurses are available 24 hours a day. If there is a problem with the IV, you can call your home health care agency for help.
If the IV comes out of the vein:
Call your health care provider if you or your child have any signs of infection, such as:
Call your local emergency number, such as 911, right away if you have:
National Home Infusion Association. Infusion FAQs. 2014.
Perry AG, Potter PA. Skill 35: Intravenous medications: intermittent infusion sets and mini-infusion pumps. In: Perry AG, Potter PA, eds. Mosby's Pocket Guide to Nursing Skills and Procedures. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2014.
Perry AG, Potter PA. Skill 36: Intravenous medications: intravenous bolus. In: Perry AG, Potter PA, eds. Mosby's Pocket Guide to Nursing Skills and Procedures. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2014.
Last reviewed on: 2/6/2016
Reviewed by: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.