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Intravenous Antibiotic Therapy (IVAT) Clinic

Intravenous medications

Who we are

The Intravenous Antibiotic Therapy (IVAT) Clinic is for people who get their antibiotics through an IV line and are not in hospital. It has staff from Sunnybrook’s Infectious Diseases team.

How the clinic works

A doctor will do an assessment when you are in hospital. If you need IV antibiotics, we will give you an appointment at the IVAT Clinic.

Our clinic is part of Sunnybrook. You will be seen by healthcare providers that know about your care.

Some patients may need to get their blood tested before the follow-up appointment. These results are checked by our clinic nurse, who will contact you if we need to make any changes.

You will have an appointment at the end of your antibiotic therapy to make sure you do not need more medication. We will remove your PICC line at this appointment if your antibiotics are completed.

The IVAT Clinic works closely with other groups (e.g. Community Access Care Centres) that provide outpatient nursing care.

Frequently asked questions

What is a PICC line?

A peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) is a thin, soft plastic tube that allows you to get your intravenous (IV) medications and fluids. It is usually in your arm. A PICC is usually put in when you are in hospital but the IVAT clinic can also arrange for a line to be inserted during an appointment. It stays in place as long as you need it. It is the best way to get your IV medication outside of the hospital.

How do I care for my PICC line?

The CCAC (Community Access Care Centre) will give you out-of-hospital healthcare. This will be done at infusion centres or at home if you cannot travel. The CCAC will get in touch with you to set up nursing care. This includes care for your PICC line and setup of the IV medication pump. If you have questions related to these services, you should contact CCAC directly at 1-800-810-0000.

When is my PICC line taken out and will I have any pain when this is done?

Your PICC line will be taken out at the IVAT Clinic when your antibiotics are finished. PICC line removal is simple and is not painful.

Are there restrictions to my daily living with a PICC line?

You can shower or bathe, but wrap the PICC in plastic wrap and tape, and keep it out of water. Do not swim or get into a hot tub.

Do not do activities that have constant or forceful arm movement like moving heavy objects or vacuuming. Moderate exercise like walking does not harm your PICC. Do not carry bags or purses over your “PICC” shoulder. This could cause damage to your PICC.

When should I call the IVAT nurse?

Call our clinic nurse for any problems with your PICC line or your medications (for example, side effects):

  • If the PICC line gets blocked (the medication is not going into the line)
  • If there is redness or pain at the line site
  • If you feel like throwing up or have severe diarrhea
  • If you see new redness or a rash on your skin

When do I need blood tests?

You may need regular (i.e. weekly) blood tests for some antibiotics to make sure the dose is not too high or low. If we need to make any changes to your dose we will let you know, and we will also call CCAC so they know.

Contact and location

The IVAT clinic is in room B634 (B wing, 6th floor) on Sunnybrook's Bayview Campus. The clinic is open Monday to Friday, 11am to 3:30pm.

To make an appointment, please call our clinic coordinator: (416) 480-6100 ext. 7363

For any issues related to your PICC line or medications, please call our clinic nurse: (416) 480-6100 ext. 7372

Clinic fax: (416) 480-4930

Note: this phone number is only answered during clinic hours. If you feel very sick, go to your family doctor or the emergency department, and leave a message for the clinic. Do not wait to see a doctor at the IVAT clinic.

IVAT clinic staff