Infusions 101: Everything You Need to Know About Infusion Therapy
If someone has a disease where they can't eat, can't take her medication properly, or needs medication to go directly into the bloodstream, they will often turn to infusion therapy. It's perfect for somebody with cancer, Crohn's disease, Ulcerative Colitis, or other internal illnesses that need to be treated using an intravenous medication.
So, what exactly is infusion therapy and what does it treat? Let's take a look.
Instead of giving patients medication to take orally, some doctors will administer the medication by inserting into a patient's vein. Infusion systems could previously only be used in hospitals, but now it is widely used at infusion therapy centers and can even be administered at a patient's home by specialized nurses. These nurses, who administer the medications in a patient's home, have been trained and have met specific standards and regulations set by the board of pharmacies and by the government.
Patients who can't take medication orally are usually prime candidates for this kind of treatment. However, a person who may be able to take a medication orally but whose disease doesn't respond well to that type of medication can opt for IV infusion therapy instead. If they do opt for intravenous therapy, they will be required to go to the hospital, therapy center, or have a nurse come to their house every few weeks or so. Infusions can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, so many patients find themselves devoting an entire day to their medication.
Since the infusions are administered through an IV, it may be very intimidating. However, it's important for patients to understand that the treatment isn't scary at all and is there to help treat the disease they are dealing with. The nurses and doctors typically start off easy with the most common infusion systems fluid (saline) just to get the ball rolling.
There are a large number of infusion therapies available for people with different diseases. Therapies include blood component stimulating factor therapy, chemotherapy, hydration therapy, pain management therapy, and total parenteral nutrition.
IV pumps do amazing things and can help people get their medication placed directly into their bloodstream. While it is a process, it can help a person feel a lot better once it’s over.