Home Chemotherapy Pump Disconnect Patient Instructions
Minnesota Oncology provides opportunities for self-disconnect at home when your provider and team determine it is safe and appropriate for your treatment, not all patients will meet criteria for home disconnect.
This process will be the easiest if you have assistance to help you at home. If a caregiver is assisting in this process, they must be at the teaching visit.
Supplies provided by Minnesota Oncology:
- Absorbent pad for table surface
- 1-2 pair of chemotherapy approved gloves (one for each participant)
- 4-5 alcohol wipe prep pads
- 2 prefilled 10mL saline syringes.
- Chemotherapy plastic bag to put contents into once disconnected.
Supplies needed at home:
- Firm Tupperware or container labeled “chemotherapy” to place your used bag in and transport back to clinic. (OK to reuse with each cycle).
- Alcohol based hand sanitizer or soap and water
Step by Step Instructions:
- Inspect your elastomeric pump to ensure that all the drug has emptied at the time your nurse instructs. The inner balloon should be deflated, and the outer plastic should be wrinkled.
a. If it appears there is still fluid in your pump, wait an hour to see if it empties more. If it does not, do NOT disconnect but call the clinic for instructions at your normal clinical phone number.
- Clean hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer you have at home.
- Open absorbent pad onto your work surface. Place the following onto the pad.
a. Alcohol wipes
b. Open each saline syringe from plastic wrap and place on pad.
d. Chemo gloves
e. Chemotherapy disposal bag
f. “chemotherapy” labeled Tupperware or hard sided container.
- Loosen white cap at end of saline syringes and gently remove any air from syringe then set back down.
- Open clamp closest to the chemotherapy tubing, slide the tubing into the clamp and close clamp over tubing. You will NOT remove your chemotherapy from your port.
- Remove the green disinfecting cap on the hub of your port that does not have drug connected. It will be closest to your body.
- Using an alcohol wipe, scrub the clear cap for 15 seconds rubbing the sides and the tip with good friction and wait 10 seconds for alcohol to dry. Do not touch the tip while drying so it remains clean.
- Connect one of the syringes to the clear cap and push in the saline, stop a few times to pause as you are pushing in the fluid. (this should take about 5 seconds to push in).
- Remove the first syringe and connect the second syringe repeating the same process. When the second syringe is empty, pinch the second clamp closed (the one closest to your body) and remove the empty syringe.
- Gently peel the tape holding the heat sensor for your pump off your skin.
- Gently peel the clear tape around your port loose, use your non dominant hand to hold the base of the port so that the needle doesn’t pull out when you are removing tape.
- Once the tape is loose. Hold the clear base of your port with your non dominant hand to anchor your port in place.
- Using your dominant hand, hold the yellow wings of your port up and pull straight. You will hear a noticeable click, that is the needle being secured into the safety lock so that you or your caregiver do not have any needle sticks.
- Set your needle and tubing on your absorbent pad and place a Band-Aid over your port site.
- Place the entire elastomeric pump, tubing, and needle together inside the chemotherapy bag. It should all be one long piece.
- Place the chemotherapy bag inside your labeled Tupperware or container and bring this back to your MN Oncology office at your next infusion for appropriate disposal.
- NEVER try and dispose of needle or drug contents on your own. You must bring it back to the clinic.
- It is OK to gather the rest of the garbage including the pad, empty saline syringes, gloves and any wrappers and throw them into your home trash.
- Wash your hands well with soap and water once you have thrown all supplies away.
- GREAT JOB!