Avoiding Hospital Stays through Home IV Therapy
16/06/2014Last year 2,635 days, which people would have otherwise spent in hospital, were avoided through the Southern Trust’s Home Intravenous Therapy Service.
Home Intravenous or ‘IV’ Therapy, involves injections or infusions (drips) of antibiotics, mostly to treat urinary, respiratory or other infections related to long term conditions like diabetes.
Previously all patients were admitted to hospital to receive IV Therapy, however now District Nurses are providing this treatment in many people’s homes and some local health centres as Ann King, Lead IV Co-ordinator for the Southern Trust explains: “Last year our District Nursing Team provided IV Therapy to 227 patients in their own homes who would have otherwise needed a lengthy hospital stay or frequent hospital attendances for treatment.
“The home IV service is definitely making a difference to people who need a course of antibiotics but may not necessarily require other treatment. Our team receives referrals from medical staff to administer antibiotics to people at home, helping to prevent hospital admission and we also arrange treatment for those who no longer need inpatient care and can be discharged earlier.”
The team also works with hospitals outside of the Trust area, treating patients discharged from the Royal Victoria or Belfast City for example who live in the Southern area.
Depending on their diagnosis, patients can receive intravenous therapy up to three times a day for periods lasting up to three months.
Caroline Jefferies from Armagh works in Portadown Treatment and Care Centre and has been on a six week course of daily IV treatment. Caroline says: “Despite having needed several courses of intensive IV treatments over the last few years, I have been able to continue with my normal home and work life. The Portadown District Nurses administer my medication each day during the working week and at weekends and bank holidays, the Armagh District Nursing team call to my home. The service really has been fantastic and without it I would have needed to spend weeks in hospital when I was otherwise fit to go to work and continue my normal daily routine.”
Click here to see Home IV Therapy in action.
District Nursing Sister, Ruth Preston and District Nursing Charge Nurse, Stephen McAnerney with Lead Intravenous Therapy Co-Ordinator Ann King and patient Caroline Jefferies.