What is Infusion Therapy?
Infusion therapy involves the administration of medication through a needle or catheter and is prescribed when a patient’s condition is so severe that it cannot be treated effectively by oral medications. Successful candidates for home infusion therapy must be able to perform self-care or have a capable person who will be devoted to and responsible for their therapy.
The physician overseeing the patient’s care will initiate the process with a prescription. A team of specially trained pharmacists, nurses, and dieticians work in collaboration with the physician and patient to oversee the home treatment.
Don Neal’s Story
When Don Neal was admitted to the hospital with a serious sinus infection, he was immediately started on antibiotics that were administered directly into the blood stream through a catheter in his arm.
Neal was soon feeling a bit better and no longer in need of acute care, but still required long-term antibiotic therapy to completely clear up his infection. His immune system was also severely compromised from a previous bout with cancer. Where does a patient like Neal go to get better? The answer is: no further than his own home.
The Benefits of Infusion Therapy
Infusion therapy can shorten or even help avoid a stay in a hospital or nursing home and, in most cases, allows the patient to resume normal daily activities. “The best thing is that I was able to stay at home. I didn’t have to get out in the weather and travel to the hospital or be exposed to all the germs in the hospital,” says Neal.
The most frequently used infusion therapy is IV antibiotics, usually prescribed for diagnoses such as cellulitis, sepsis, osteomyelitis, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and sinusitis. Other conditions treated with specialty infusion therapies may include gastrointestinal diseases and disorders, cancer, congestive heart failure, multiple sclerosis, hemophilia, immune deficiencies, and more.