Home Infusion Therapy: Handling Supplies Safely

Infusion therapy is a safe way to take medicines or fluids that can’t be taken by mouth. With infusion therapy, medicines or fluids flow through a flexible tube (catheter) that is placed in a vein—usually on your arm or chest (infusion site). A nurse will show you how to set up your home infusion system. Treatment will become part of your daily routine. Your supplies need to be kept sterile. That means they need to be germ free. Otherwise, they aren’t safe to use. Inspect, store, and dispose of supplies as directed by the nurse.

Inspecting your supplies

Here are tips for supply inspection: 

  • Check the bag or bottle for leaks, cracks, broken seals, and contents that are cloudy or discolored.

  • Check the package for your name and for the correct medicine or fluid. Also check the expiration date.

  • Inspect all supplies to be sure they’re sealed, clean, and dry, and have no cracks or tears.

Storing your supplies

Here are tips for supply storage: 

  • Keep your supplies in a clean, dry place that’s out of the reach of children and pets.

  • Store medicines or fluids as directed on the label. Some may need to be refrigerated.

Disposing of used supplies

Here are tips for supply disposal: 

  • Seal used dressings and tubing in a plastic bag. Throw the bag directly in the trash—unless the nurse tells you otherwise.

  • Put used needles and syringes directly into the sharps container. You will be instructed how to dispose of the sharps container once it is full.

Hand disposing of syringe in sharps container.
Dispose of needles in an approved sharps container.

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