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If chemotherapy or other infusion services are part of your cancer treatment plan, Lakewood Regional Medical Center offers infusion therapy services at a specialized outpatient infusion center.
Preparing for your appointment
During your time in the infusion center, your comfort is important to us. Snacks and beverages are available, and you are free to bring your own meals.
To prepare, dress in comfortable clothing and shoes. That gives our care team easy access for taking your blood pressure and administering treatment. Also, be prepared to provide a list of medications you are taking, as well as your medical history since your last infusion appointment.
Friends or family members will have to stay in a waiting room that is nearby and can take turns visiting you during your infusion treatment. This allows room for other patients who are receiving treatment at the same time. If you need assistance using the restroom, please make sure to have a family member or friend in the waiting room to be able to help you.
What to expect during your appointment
The length of your treatment will depend on the type of treatment you are receiving. Infusions can take two or more hours, depending on the medications you receive. Some infusion treatments take six to eight hours. Your nurse will tell you the approximate length of your infusion. Be sure to ask how long each visit should take so that you can plan accordingly.
At the beginning of each infusion visit, we will assess your condition to make sure your health is stable and it is appropriate for you to receive your medication that day. This may include laboratory blood draws if indicated by your physician. Labs may be done the day before, but not more than one week from the scheduled appointment. Be sure to let your nurse know if you have a cold, cough, flu-like symptoms or other discomfort.
Once we have determined that you can begin your treatment, your nurse will have to do several things, including calling the pharmacy for your medication. Mixing infusion medication can be time-consuming and requires special handling. The pharmacy staff has special training to mix these types of infusions, and takes the time needed to be careful and accurate.
Although your primary nurse will provide most of your care, other nurses in the Infusion Center can also help you and keep you comfortable. They may give you medication to prevent nausea and other reactions to the chemotherapy drugs.
For your first infusion treatment, make sure that someone is available to drive you home.
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