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IV Care Myths

Myth: When I was told that I needed IV therapy for an infection, I immediately began to worry about the time I would need to take off from work. I also was concerned about how inconvenient it would be for my husband and children to have to take me back and forth to the hospital. I didn’t realize that there were other options available that would allow me to continue to be independent and receive treatments at home.

Truth: Patients often work and continue normal activities when they receive home IV therapy. Most home infusions do not require any mechanical devices for medication administration and while many IV antibiotics are administered by slow IV push, this is easy to teach. In most cases, patients and caregivers are capable of administering medications at their homes after 2-3 nursing visits. Most patients complete IV therapy without incidents or complications.

Myth: I needed IV therapy for an immune disorder, but my child is still in school. I really wanted to make sure I could see him play baseball his senior year. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to leave the house to get to his games.

Truth: Most insurance companies do not require IV care patients to be homebound. Many IV care patients are able to leave the home and participate in activities that provide a good quality of life experience.

Myth: My husband needed to start IV treatments for his stomach cancer. We planned on getting IV care at home, but I thought that his first treatment still needed to be administered at the hospital. Our children live out of town and I was really worried about being able to get him to and from the hospital by myself.

Truth: The first dose of a new drug may be administered at home. The physician, pharmacist and nurse consider certain criteria when determining eligibility including the patient’s allergies and sensitivity history, medication history, precautions and contraindications of the medication being administered, access to emergency services and the patient’s current condition.

Myth: I had surgery to help my Crohn’s Disease and could only eat tiny portions at a time. I wasn’t getting the nutrients I needed to live and to heal. I needed tube feeding to make up for the nutrients my body wasn’t receiving. As a Medicare patient, I didn’t think I would qualify for home IV care because I could still eat a little bit by mouth.

Truth: Medicare patients may enjoy pleasure foods as long as the majority of their daily caloric intake comes from the enteral formula.

Myth: I was surprised to find out that I needed IV therapy for chronic pain. I didn’t have surgery or a recent hospital stay. I thought that would be a requirement before receiving IV therapy at home.

Truth: IV therapy may be provided in the home without a recent hospital stay or surgery. Heartland Pharmacy can arrange for insertion of the appropriate IV access.

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