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Northland DHB District Nursing Service Whangarei

Public Service

Intravenous Therapy

What is intravenous therapy?

The administration of medication/fluid via a plastic needle (cannula) inserted into a vein in your hand or arm.

For long term requirements, a CVAD (central venous access device) can be inserted (done in Radiology Department or Operating Theatre). Most commonly, these are PICCs which are long thin tubes which have an entry point via your upper arm and advanced inside that vein, into a larger vein near your heart. These can last upwards of a year if required.

Both these device’s entry points are covered in a specialised transparent dressing to protect entry point from infection and/or being dislodged.

Who are the District Nursing service?

  • We are a team of Registered Nurses who provide a professional, safe, patient focused, community based service.
  • We provide skilled management of drug/fluid administration via these access devices.
  • We do NOT prescribe medications.

Who may access this service?
Hospital based Doctors 

General Practitioners (GPs) will use another pathway.

What does the service provide?

  • Free administration of prescribed medications for the length of time prescribed by GP/hospital doctor.
  • Clinical assessment of patient's condition and response to medications.
  • Give advice/recommendations for ongoing management e.g. further GP review, possible blood analysis (through GP), dietary advice, pain issues etc.
  • Removal of access device at completion of prescription.

This service can be delivered either at our clinic on hospital grounds or, if necessary, in the home environment.

Who is eligible?
This depends on frequency of medications and patient location.

  • Patient must be over 10 years of age.
  • Patient must have telephone access.
  • Patient must have stable home environment.
  • The first dose of medication MUST be given supported in a medical environment, and patient to have no adverse reaction to the medication.

Who is not eligible?
Patients with history of non-compliance, drug abuse, confusion, multiple allergies or living in an unsafe environment need to have individual assessment and be seen in clinic only.

This page was last updated at 11:22AM on October 10, 2019.