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Old 06-12-2006, 01:17 PM   #1
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Question IV Antibiotic Therapy at Home....??

Has anyone had experience with home IV therapy? I am getting a IV PIC line inserted tomorrow and really dont know what to expect. I did a search online for Home IV THerapy, and just come up with providers. Where will they insert the PIC line (arm location)? Will I be able to care for it myself, or will I need help? Will I be able to go back to work?
Doctor says I will have it for 6 weeks. Anybody with advice?

 
Old 06-12-2006, 01:35 PM   #2
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Re: IV Antibiotic Therapy at Home....??

Hi NitroChic, my mom had this done and she had a nurse come in for the first little bite until she could care for it herself. She was able to go places in between but had to make sure she was home in time for the treatments. She had to do hers 4 times a day for cellulitis.

What are they treating you for? My mom I noticed went down hill after hers...and you know the rest. But, IMO it was because they treated her with the wrong antibiotics for her illness so not only did it not control it, it damaged her liver. Her infection took more than three weeks to see an improvement. So, I would ask the doctor for something in writing as far as how your infection should be controlled and signs that it isn't working.

My mom also, IMO, stayed out of the hospital because she wanted to drink and wasn't going to be able to do that in the hospital. They asked her to stay, she said no, so this was the next option.

She was not able to work. It may be different for you. She was in heavy manufacturing, so it may make a difference as to what type of work you do.
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Old 06-12-2006, 02:16 PM   #3
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Re: IV Antibiotic Therapy at Home....??

I am being treated for Osteomyelitis of the Jaw. Bone infection for those who aren't familiar. I talk on the phone 8 hours a day and note in computer. So I guess the IV wouldnt have much effect on that, though the Jaw pai does. So maybe I will have to take the treatment every 4 hoursor 6 hours? I hadnt thought of that.
I do not know what antibiotic they are going to put me on, I guess I will have to research that when I find out.
I actually just called while I was typing this...Ertapenem..I will look it up. Thanks for any insight.

 
Old 06-12-2006, 02:20 PM   #4
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Re: IV Antibiotic Therapy at Home....??

Nitrochic: By now you have your PIC, and probably know it's not too bad,once you get the hang of it. I'm sure your doc is ordering blood work to keep an eye on liver,kidney,etc. as was mentioned in a post by Angel. Good luck. Any questions I can try to help-I'm near the end of the 6 weeks.

 
Old 06-12-2006, 02:58 PM   #5
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Re: IV Antibiotic Therapy at Home....??

I don't have it inserted till tomorrow 6-13-06....I was looking up the drug being prescribed.....YIKES....
So since you have been on it for 6 weeks, were you able to go back to work? Did you have to flush the site with heparin? What about keeping it sterile? Do you keep it covered? sorry...just a bit worried right now.

 
Old 06-12-2006, 03:13 PM   #6
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Re: IV Antibiotic Therapy at Home....??

You need to request that they provide you with a home health nurse to help you until you get this figured out. If they won't tell them you want to be admitted. This is not something to screw around with. They didn't tell my mom until the day of the appointment about the nurse, so she got one.....also, I would suggest keeping track in a journal of everything the minute it starts, so that if you have any complications, you'll be able to identify it earlier on...my mom's complications were severe, yet, as I said, she still drank and did a lot of things that she shouldn't have.

All meds have risks, but having an infection in your jaw, that close to your brain, IMO outweighs any risks of the medications. Just be aware and you should do just fine.

Good luck sweetpea, you'll do great.
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Old 06-12-2006, 04:38 PM   #7
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Re: IV Antibiotic Therapy at Home....??

Thank you so much... you have been so helpfull. We do have an infusion therapy place in town, so I am sure to have someone available quickly if I need. Again thank you so much.

 
Old 06-12-2006, 06:28 PM   #8
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Re: IV Antibiotic Therapy at Home....??

Hi NitroChic. Good luck getting your PICC line tomorrow. It is usually very easy to install one and it should not hurt much. The site may be a little sore for a couple of days.

Usually, a nurse will show you how to infuse the meds yourself and once you are comfortable, you can do them on your own. It sounds very complicated and scary, but it is really easy once you get the hang of it. In most cases you do flush the line after infusions. You may want to write all the instructions down as they are told to you so you can always refer to them.

The most important thing with a PICC line it make sure the site is clean and dry at all times. An infection could be deadly. If you ever have any question about how the site looks or feels, call your doctor or nurse immediately. The line is usually covered with a sterile bandage and then often some kind of small netting that keeps it in place.

There is a great product you can get to wear over the site so you can shower without getting the site wet. It is called a mid-arm protector and you can get it at Brown Medical.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. Good luck!

 
Old 06-12-2006, 07:13 PM   #9
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Re: IV Antibiotic Therapy at Home....??

My husband had an infection in his vertabre, very close to the spinal cord. After a 2 week stay in the hospital, he had a pic line inserted and was on IV antibiotics, 3 times a day, for the next 3 months.

He went once a week to the infusion clinic, where they did bloodwork, cleaned the site, applied new dressings, and then sent him on his way with enough antibiotics, heparin, dressings...EVERYTHING that he would need for the next week. They suggested that he use GLAD Press and Seal for showering, and it worked great.

Good luck to you and I hope you feel better soon.

 
Old 06-13-2006, 04:58 AM   #10
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Re: IV Antibiotic Therapy at Home....??

My son has had IV therapy at home 3 times now, each for 3-6 weeks. He gets frequent serious chest infections. Anyways, they could not get a PICC line in him, so he got a med port, which will serve him great long term anyways. My husband and I administered the antibiotics, which was very easy. We were given pre-filled Dosifusers, which do not require any kind of pump. They self infuse. Very easy. Flushing and heparanizing are very important. Also, keeping the area clean and dry to keep out infection is crucial. Generally, your dressing should be changed 1x a week. Definitely ask for a nurse to help you out.

Best of luck to you!

 
Old 06-13-2006, 05:52 AM   #11
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Re: IV Antibiotic Therapy at Home....??

Hi! I've had my PICC line for almost 12 weeks. I am getting home IV fluids and IV Phenergan (for nausea). My PICC is on the inside of my right arm, just above the elbow. They gave me a fishnet looking type of thing to wear on it, so it doesn't get caught on everything. I take care of it myself as far as flushing and putting the meds in, but a nurse comes out once a week to change the dressing. They did have to put some extensions on the PICC itself so I could reach it with my right hand to put the meds in...
The biggest pain is covering it so you don't get it wet while showering, but if you go to a medical supply store, you can buy a sleeve that you can put over it and fasten it so it doesn't get wet. They have them to put over casts but it works perfect with my PICC. Earlier this year I had a different PICC that was for home antibiotics, and it was pretty much the same thing.
The actual insertion of the PICC didn't hurt, they numb the area first. Hope this helps!

 
Old 06-13-2006, 06:37 AM   #12
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Re: IV Antibiotic Therapy at Home....??

Hey nitro,don't know if you will see this before you go but I just wanted to tell you that the whole process went pretty easy for my son when he had to have at home IV meds(anti Bs).he has a liver transplant and he was going thru a CMV virus thing that is pretty common in immunosuppressed people.

anyways,he was already in the hosp and the day he was going to be discharged,they just took him down and did his line and later,we took him home and a few hours later,we got this huge cooler delivered that had all the supplies we would need plus these little "globe" looking things that contained the gancyclovier he was going to need,we threw those into the fridge(you just take one out about an hour before the infusion to let it warm up).shortly after that,the home health care nurse showed up and she went thru every step(which i wrote down,every word and every step,to the letter).the wierd thing was,i had been a medic for about ten years or so at that time and had never ever seen an IV set up like this one before.it was just kind of a strange adjustment for me.

But things went really well.luckily,he only needed two per day.unfortunetly he was going to school so I would have to get up for the morning shift about like four thrty or five?just to give him the morning dose.it takes around like an hour? or so for the little globe to flatten around itself,then you know it is done.it starts out like a softball,and about that same size,but you know when it is done cuz the ball will turn into something that resembles an apple core?

we had to do the saline and heparin thing too.then I would just close it off and place that netting thing over it and he was off to school for the day.my hubby did the five o clock shift.lucky him,at least he was fully awake for it,lol.

once he was all done with the gan,the home nurse came out and removed the picc line for us.one thing we found after she removed that little 'plate' type thing that rests up against the skin was that here he had actually developed two little blisters under it just from the friction done to it over the fourteen days he was getting the anti Bs.something you might want to watch for if you start feeling any sort of actual pain at the picc site.

i am sure you will do fine.like i said before just make sure you write down every step that the nurse will tell you so you can use it for reference should you not remember some part of the process.they will check up on you with a visit or two.i cannot remeber that far back(seven years ago)to tell you just how often those visits were but they DO come.i always wrote down any possible questions that popped up when they occured to me so I could ask the nurse when she came back agin.

this whole thing will be over in no time and hopefully things will get much better with regard to the infection real soon.good luck nitro,please let us know how things are going.take care,FB
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