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Home Care

March 8, 2009
Isa helps out.

Isa helps out.

Not everything happens in the hospital. Like with most diseases, medicines must be taken at home. Who hasn’t seen those plastic, flip-top-lidded pill box with the days of the week imprinted on them. Chemo is different.  In our case, we don’t infuse at home, but we do what is called a push. Rather than having a bag of fluid, we have to “push” the medication using a plastic syringe.     

 

 

CHEMOTHERAPY FOR DUMMIES

 

Setting up the medications

Setting up the medications

 

Papa setting up the medicine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All ready to go.

All ready to go.

Getting the blood return

Getting the blood return

 

Saline

Saline

The meds all laid out in SASH order.

Saline

Administer

Saline

Heparin

We do this twice, once with Zofran and once with Ara-C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the blood comes out, we can push the first saline. It goes in relatively quickly, but not super fast. Sometimes the children can taste or smell salt. Isa did this in the hospital, but hasn’t done it since then.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zofran 

Zofran

 

Zofran, must really work, because Isa has displayed very few signs of nausea after receiving the Ara-C.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saline

Saline

Notice the fabulous Hat!!! Thanks to Ooh Baby!! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heparin

Heparin

After the Heparin we typically wait for 20 minutes or so. Even though on Thursday at the Riley Outpatient Center (ROC) the nurse just pushed all the medications as fast as she could, because we were the first in line for some hot spinal methotrexate.            

 

 

 

 

 

 

The end of the dealio... a technical term I use frequently.

The end of the dealio... a technical term I use frequently.

Each syringe screws onto the end of the tube that comes out of her port. Before attaching it, Papa wipes it with an alcohol swab. Does this really matter?  You tell me, how effective is 70% isopropyl alcohol at truly diminishing the number of undesirables.

 


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7 Comments leave one →
  1. amedicalpersonreading permalink
    March 13, 2009 9:59 pm

    YES, an alcohol swab is absolutely necessary!! Especially for your young one in a vulnerable immunosuppressed state. It is stressed in hospitals accessing IV lines/ports that a vigorous rub, the friction with the alcohol swab, aids in killing microbes. Chlorhexadine is another very effective solution to aid with sterilization. Both solutions require that time is allotted for them to dry.

    What I’m wondering is why, between meds, you are pushing heparin? Heparin is the “locking” med that keeps ports from clotting until they are accessed again. There is no reason to use it between meds. Saline, med, Saline, med, Saline, Heparin is a more accurate way to use the heparin. When you push that Heparin in-between meds and then flush, even after 20 minutes, you are just pushing heparin into her system. Even though the concentration is low (100units/ml?) it is getting into her system more than it needs to and increases bleeding risks. Please ask for clarification at your medical facility.

    • March 14, 2009 12:00 pm

      According to the CDC alcohols are not effective against bacterial spores and have limited effectiveness against nonenveloped viruses. 100% alcohol isn’t as effective as 60-90%, because the action to kill the vegetative bacteria requires water to work. As far as a scrubbing, I could find no reference to this in regards to inanimate objects, yet a vigorous scrub was indicated when using the alcohol containing hand rubs.

      Regarding the heparin >>>>> Thanks <<<<<<<< I will be sure to clarify this with the Hem/Onc nurses. We’ve only seen the doctor once since we left the hospital in January. It seemed like overkill but that is what was prescribed. The nurse practitioner said that every prescription she writes is checked by a physician. With this oversight, I now question the validity of that statement.

      This will be resolved before we administer it again.

      • April 3, 2009 8:14 pm

        Talked to three different nurses at three different times. One said that it didn’t matter, the other two, said, NO way, you need to do the heparin even after a twenty minute wait. She added that sometimes in the clinic they don’t use the heparin for the time that patients are waiting to get procedure. So, needless to say, we are no longer doing the Heparin twice! Thanks again.

  2. Deadra aka Demie permalink
    March 10, 2009 9:59 am

    Loving you guys, today and every day – – – next time we come through Indy let me take the four of you out to lunch…..

  3. Natascha permalink
    March 9, 2009 1:11 pm

    Wow. Papa G looks so official…. I’m not sure I’d be strong enough to do that….

    We’re thinking of you………..

    tasch and family

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