Patients come to the Infusion Therapy Center (ITC) for chemotherapy, intravenous fluids, medications or blood products. ITC appointments may be on the same day or on a separate day from your follow-up visit with your oncologist.
The Center is located to the right of the Information Desk at the main entrance of the hospital.
Before Your Treatment Begins
Before treatment begins, a technician will:
- Check your vital signs
- Place an IV, or access your mediport
- Draw blood, if necessary
You'll return to the waiting room while a nurse checks you doctor's orders and makes sure your lab results show you're ready for treatment (about an hour).
If you are receiving blood, the blood bank will need about two hours to find your blood type and find a match for you.
If you are getting chemotherapy, orders will be given to the pharmacy after we have your blood test results. This can take up to an hour.
Once everything is in place, you will be escorted into the Infusion Therapy Center. You maybe receive premedications (pills or IV) to prevent side effects, like nausea. Some chemotherapies also require extra intravenous fluids to keep you hydrated. These measures can add anywhere from 30 minutes to four hours to your total chemotherapy time.
The Treatment – What Happens
Each chemotherapy medication can take anywhere from 10 minutes to three hours. Chemotherapy regimens may contain anywhere from one to four different chemotherapy medications, making each chemotherapy session different in length.
You may bring one guest with you into the ITC. For the safety of our patients, visitors who are ill or who have cold symptoms should not accompany patients into the ITC. Children age 12 and younger are not allowed.
We ask that you try to eat a light meal prior to your treatment. A complimentary lunch and light snacks are provided for patients. You are welcome to bring your own snacks or meal. (Please avoid strong smelling foods, as they may bother other patients receiving chemotherapy.) Guests may bring their own food or purchase food from the cafeteria or one of the restaurants.
Each treatment bay is equipped with a recliner chair for the patient, an upright chair for a guest, a small table and a television. Cell phones are permitted, as are music players as long as you have headphones. Blankets and pillows are provided, or you may bring your own.
For your comfort, we recommend dressing in layers. Many patients bring books, knitting, drawing, etc. to help pass the time. Restrooms for patients are located in the ITC. We ask that all guests use the restrooms located in the waiting area or in the main medical center lobby.
To reach the Infusion Therapy Center, call 410-328-7609.