Continuous subcutaneous delivery of medications for home care palliative patients-using an infusion set or a pump?

Sasson Menahem, Pesach Shvartzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate safety, feasibility, and efficacy of continuous drug delivery by the subcutaneous route through a solution bag connected to an infusion set compared with an infusion pump in a home palliative care setting. Methods: Patients in need of continuous subcutaneous medication delivery for pain control, nausea, and/or vomiting were recruited. The study was designed as a doubleblind, crossover study. The patient was connected to two parallel subcutaneous lines running simultaneously, connected together to a line entering the subcutaneous tissue. One line is connected to an infusion set and the other to a pump. The infusion set included a 500-cc solution bag connected to a 1.5-m plastic tube containing a drip chamber controlled by a roller clamp that is gravity driven without hyaluronidase. Active medications were randomly assigned to start in either administration method and switched after 24 h. An independent research assistant evaluated symptom control and side effects at baseline and every 24 h for 2 days using a structured questionnaire. Another independent research assistant connected the lines after adding medications and evaluated technical and clinical failures. Results: Twenty-seven patients were recruited, and of them, 18 completed the study. Incidents in fluid administration were more common through the infusion set (18 times) compared to the pump (only twice). On the other hand, no clinical significant change was noted in the average symptom levels and side effects when medications were given through the infusion set versus the pump. No local edema or irritation was observed in either way of administration. Conclusions: In a home palliative care setting with a medical staff on call for 24 h, using medications for symptom control can be considered to be infused to a fluid solution bag through an infusion set instead of using a syringe driver or a pump when there is a responsible caregiver to follow up on the fluid. Subcutaneous constant drug delivery through a pump is more accurate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1165-1170
Number of pages6
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Volume18
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2010

Keywords

  • Homecare
  • Infusion set
  • Palliative care
  • Symptom control
  • Syringe driver

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