Intravenous (IV) therapy at home is when you receive IV treatment and medication prescribed by your doctor without being confined in a clinic or hospital. It’s also used to treat dehydration or to deliver vitamins and nutrients to the body. It’s an effective and safe alternative to in-patient treatment and care. In IV therapy, the fluids, which may include medications, are administered to the patient directly to the vein through a needle and a tube.
IV therapy is ideally administered by a registered nurse who’s working for the healthcare facility that attends to the patient. However, family members and caregivers may also be trained on how to administer and monitor an IV therapy. A patient may also learn to self-administer when there’s no one to assist them.
Common Indications For IV Therapy
There are several reasons why someone may need to have IV therapy:
- When antibiotics can’t be administered by mouth
- When the antibiotic is more effective if delivered through IV
- For immediate nutritional replacement
- For patient-controlled pain relief medication
- If you need extra or faster fluid replacement (e.g., when you’re dehydrated)
Sometimes, even after the patient is discharged from hospitalization, the doctor may need to recommend continuous IV therapy. Because staying in a hospital is often expensive, there are patients that choose to just continue their IV therapy at home, especially if all their other medical treatments have been completed already.
If you require prolonged IV therapy at home, you need to stock enough IV bags. Click to read more about high-quality IV bags that you can use for medicated IV therapies. However, keep in mind, that the type of IV you use should always be approved by your physician first.
The Pros Of Using Home IV Therapy
When administered correctly, home IV therapy is an effective way for patients to recuperate in the comfort of their homes while still continuing their recommended treatment.
1. Better Environment
Being in the comfort one’s home can be a great thing and even work wonders for patients undergoing treatment for chronic conditions, infections, or extensive pain. At home, IV therapy allows a person to heal in a familiar environment where they’re relaxed and comfortable.
This isn’t only good for improved physical health and well-being but also for one’s mental health as well. A better sense of peace of mind one feels when at home may also help patients recover quicker.
2. Lowered Treatment Costs
Hospital expenses rise quickly. Each night you spend in a hospital accumulates not only room charges, but also costs for using equipment, medication, and professional services. If you’re mindful of your budget, home IV therapy can be cheaper than receiving in-patient care. The lesser time you spend at a hospital, the lesser you’ll have to spend on your overall treatment.
Home IV therapy is also convenient as it lets you access your personal stuff right from home. When a patient has to spend more time in the hospital, family members will often have to go back and forth when they need to fetch personal items from home. This means you also save time and energy. You’ll also be able to continue with your regular routine if you’re receiving treatment at home.
4. Reduction Of Hospital-Related Health Risks
For patients with a compromised immune system, receiving treatment at home helps to reduce the chances of hospital-acquired infections. Receiving the therapy at home reduces the health risks associated with hospital stays.
Cons of IV Therapy At Home
If you choose to continue your IV therapy at home, these are the disadvantages that you should consider:
1. You’re Far From Urgent Medical Care
As much as being is home is both convenient and comfortable, you may not get immediate attention as needed in case of an emergency. When you’re in a medical facility, an emergency will most likely be noticed and attended to immediately. At home, this might take a while since calls and travels will have to be made first.
It would help if your primary caregiver or family members have been taught how to address potential emergency cases associated with IV therapy treatment. For example, if the needle comes out of your vein, or the puncture site becomes red and swollen.
2. Risk Of Infection
If the proper sanitation and sterilization of medical devices isn’t maintained, you’ll eventually be prone to infections. Infections can sometimes lead to a medical emergency that you may not be prepared for. Make sure the people you’re with at home also knows how to watch out for the following signs of infection:
- Pain and bleeding on puncture site
- Redness, bruising and swelling at the puncture site
- High fever
The healthcare industry, like most industries, is also moving from its traditional practices to home patient care. This creates room in health facilities to accommodate more urgent medical cases. On the other hand, patients who need IV therapy but aren’t hospital-dependent anymore can continue their treatment in the comfort of their homes, in an environment they’re used to.
If this is an option you’d like to consider, contact your doctor to see how you can arrange an effective IV therapy at home.
Author’s Name: Simon Diaz