Treatment in the comfort of your home
Any child who stays in the hospital or has a condition that requires ongoing medical care might be a candidate for Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota's home care program.
A child may receive home care services for conditions such as:
- Type 1 or type 2 diabetes — A home care nurse helps make sure you're monitoring your child's blood sugars correctly, administering medications properly and helping your child eat a healthy diet to control blood sugar levels.
- Cancer — Many kids with cancer require ongoing supportive care such as IV fluids or antibiotics, blood draws, injections and more.
- Sickle cell anemia — A skilled home care nurse can help you learn how to start an IV, which is often needed to administer medications for this condition.
- Infectious diseases, such as Lyme disease or joint infection — may require IV antibiotics, which a home care nurse can teach you to administer.
- Wounds that require dressing changes — Whether due to an injury or surgery such as an appendectomy, children may have open wounds that need to be packed or dressed.
- Premature birth — Very small babies discharged from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) need to have their growth and development monitored, and parents sometimes need additional support managing their care at home. Babies can also go home on oxygen, apnea monitors or feeding tubes, and parents need to be taught how to provide these cares safely. The babies may also need a nurse to administer Synagis®, a medication delivered in a series of shots over several months to protect newborns against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which can cause serious lung disease in infants. Nurses work with the parents of NICU graduates so they understand and adapt to their baby's developmental changes. And, they help parents understand when they should call the doctor for concerning symptoms.
One-stop shop for at-home care
In addition to visits from a skilled pediatric registered nurse, Children's home care program provides families with medication through our home care pharmacy. This is a separate department through the Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota pharmacy that works exclusively with home care staff for children needing IV therapies at home. The pharmacy dispenses all infusions and IV treatments that Children's home care patients receive.
Our pediatric pharmacists also monitor children's lab tests once kids have gone home to ensure that kids are responding well to treatments. Our pharmacists frequently collaborate with physicians and home care nurses. If a doctor or home care nurse notices a medication needs to be adjusted or a child is having a reaction, such as a rash, to a certain medication, he or she will contact the home care pharmacy to make the appropriate adjustments. In addition, the home care pharmacy team partners with our dietitians to help with any feeding or nutrition concerns.