About home hydration
To treat various forms of cancer, doctors often prescribe several different chemotherapy medications. These regimens are effective in targeting cancer cells, but can also damage the bladder and kidneys as they break down in the patient’s system. To flush the leftover chemicals from the body, the patient needs to keep very hydrated so the urological system can work overtime to remove any toxins left after treatment.
Doctors help the process along by hooking patients up to an IV drip or pumping mechanism that injects them with a special fluid. It’s a painless but time consuming process; most hydration sessions last for 24 hours after chemotherapy drugs have been administered.
To help get these the patients the hydration they need without keeping them in the hospital overnight, a team of doctors and nurses from the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer Center created the home hydration program, a hydration delivery system that’s as effective as it is simple.
Home hydration lets patients sleep in their own beds, eat home-cooked meals, and spend more time with friends and family. In addition to improving the quality of life for patients, the program also also frees up much needed bed space in the hospital. Since its inception the program has saved payers more than $1.25 million and spared patients more than 750 nights in the hospital.
How it works
The program connects a portable IV pump, about the size and weight of hard cover book, to an IV catheter in the patient’s chest via a small, self-attachable tube. Once the tube is in place the pump injects fluid to the body from a concealed IV bag. Both pump and fluid bag are small and light enough to be carried in an unassuming backpack, letting the wearer receive hydration on the go.
The program allows patients to receive the hydration they need outside the hospital with a small and easy-to-use hydration kit that goes anywhere they can.