Patients and Caregivers
Q. Why use an ambulatory pump?
A. Your doctor has ordered your chemotherapy, or other medication, to be infused over an extended period of time using an ambulatory infusion pump. The pump allows you to receive your treatment at home instead of the clinic or hospital. Your nurse will program the pump to deliver your medication at the prescribed delivery rate.
Q. How is it set up?
A. Attached to the pump is a medication reservoir—usually a cassette--which holds your prescribed medication. The cassette is then attached to extension tubing which attaches to your port or IV site.
Q. How should I carry the pump?
A. Your nurse will provide you with a carrying case to hold your pump, usually a fanny pack. Since the pump is lightweight, you will be able to move about freely while wearing the pump, and resume most of your usual activities. At bedtime, the pump can be worn loosely around the waist in the fanny pack, or you can place it next to you in the bed or under your pillow.
Q. What should I do with the pump while bathing or showering?
A. You should not take a shower while using the pump. A sponge bath during your treatment is encouraged. Please note that the pump is not waterproof. If you accidentally drop it in water, retrieve the pump quickly, dry it off and call your clinic or the OIS Patient-Nurse Connection.
Q. What do I do if the pump alarms?
A. First of all, remain calm—many alarms are easily resolved by the patient or caregiver. Please refer to your "Patient Guide to Care and Use of Your Pump" included in the right pocket of your Patient Guide for instruction on troubleshooting and alarms. If you need further assistance, please contact your clinic during regular office hours, or the OIS Patient-Nurse Connection for after-hours support: 1.800.454.0062.
Q. What do I do if I drop the pump?
A. Immediately check the following:
1) Make sure the latching button on the side of the pump is still in the locked position.
2) Make sure the medication cassette is still firmly attached to the pump
3) Check the battery door to make sure it is still firmly attached.
If the cassette or the battery door is loose or damaged, DO NOT USE THE PUMP. Close the tubing clamp, stop the pump and contact your clinician.