The purpose of this study was to determine if caregivers were capable of administering hypodermoclysis in the home hospice setting” Vidal et al (2016).
CONTEXT: Decreased oral intake is very common at the end of life. Dehydration can aggravate symptoms such as fatigue, myoclonus and confusion. Intravenous hydration at home can be logistically difficult and expensive. Hypodermoclysis (HDC) is easy to provide and inexpensive; however, it is rarely used to provide hydration at the end of life in the home setting.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to determine if caregivers were capable of administering hypodermoclysis in the home hospice setting.
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METHODS: All caregivers underwent a 45-minute training session on HDC administration and assessment of infusion site delivered by a specially trained nurse. Caregivers received daily calls and on-site evaluation on day 8.
RESULTS: A total of 21 patient/caregivers dyads were admitted to this preliminary study: 10 (48%) female patients and 16 (76%) female caregivers. All patients had advanced cancer, receiving hospice care at home. All caregivers who received training were able to start the infusion. The infusion was facilitated by gravity or weight. Side effects were minimal with one (5%) due to the care of the needle and leakage.
CONCLUSION: This preliminary study suggests that subcutaneous hydration could be administered by caregivers at home with minimal burden, equipment, and technical support.
Vidal, M., Hui, D., Williams, J. and Bruera, E. (2016) A Prospective Study of Hypodermoclysis Performed by Caregivers in the Home Setting. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. September 15th. [Epub ahead of print].
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