How to care for your pump

Safety tips:

  • Keep the pump away from damp and humid areas (bath or sauna)
  • Do not place the pump in water and keep it away from any fluid that may spill on it
  • If you accidentally drop the pump in water, take it out right away and wipe it dry with a towel. Please call the hospital. You might need to come to the hospital to replace the pump.

How to bathe or shower with your pump

  • Keep the pump and your IV dressing dry by covering them with a plastic bag.
  • Place the pump on a chair beside the tub or hang it on a hook outside the shower.
  • Using a handheld showerhead can help keep the pump and IV dressing dry.

How to sleep with your pump

  • You may place the pump under your pillow or next to you in the bed. DO NOT place it on the floor or on a bedside table.
  • Always check to see that the pump and tubing are near each other. This will stop the tubing from being pulled and coming apart from the IV or pump.

How to reduce the likelihood of chemotherapy spills at home

Chemotherapy drugs are dangerous to cancer cells and healthy cells. Your body can take in chemotherapy drugs by direct skin contact, breathing them in (inhalation), or by swallowing them (ingestion). Here are some safety steps you can take to reduce the chances of your family and pets coming in contact with chemotherapy drugs.

  • DO NOT remove or disconnect the pump, tubing or medicine bag that holds the chemotherapy. Keep the tubing and bag attached to the pump and return everything to the hospital.
  • You and your family members should know how to use the items found in your chemotherapy spill kit that has been given to you at the start of your treatment. Keep this kit somewhere where you will be able to get to it quickly.
  • Disposable gloves should be used if someone other than yourself is cleaning up your bodily waste (throw-up, poop or pee) and when handling soiled linens, bedpan or urinal or anything else that may have come in contact with chemotherapy.
  • Once your treatment is completely done, do not re-use the carrying case that was used to carry the chemotherapy bag and pump during your treatment until it has been washed. The carrying case must be washed by itself.
  • If you notice that the chemotherapy bag or IV tubing is leaking, or if the IV tubing is not connected to the catheter, you or your caregiver should refer to the instructions on your chemotherapy spill kit.

What to look for and when to call the hospital

Take a look at your pump, IV and the medicine bag at least once or twice a day and watch for any of the points below. Call the hospital if you notice any of the following:

  • Redness, swelling, discharge or fluid leakage from or around the IV or central line
  • Pain or discomfort, numbness/tingling around the IV site, shoulder, chest or jaw The pump does not appear to be working or continues to alarm
  • The amount of fluid in the medicine bag or plastic cassette does not seem to be getting lower as the day goes on.
  • The IV medicine finishes earlier than it was scheduled to.
  • A pocket of air in the tubing cassette or IV bag
  • Blood pooled along the IV line, IV site or tubing connecting site.
  • The IV catheter or needle is coming out from the IV insertion site. DO NOT push the IV catheter back into place as this can lead to infection. Then, clamp the tube immediately and phone the hospital.

What to do with the pump when you are done treatment

It is very important that the pumps are returned once the treatment is completed. If you are not able to return the pump, please call the hospital and ask the hospital operator for the Complex Malignant Hematology Outpatient unit and ask to speak to the team leader to talk about ways of returning the pump. It is your responsibility to return the pump to the hospital.

Please return the pump to:

Complex Malignant Hematology Outpatient Unit (C606) or the Complex Malignant Hematology Unit (D Wing, 4th floor).
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Ave, Toronto ON