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Chemotherapy pumps

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This page tells you about chemotherapy pumps. There is information about

 

A quick guide to what's on this page

Having chemotherapy through a pump

Chemotherapy pumps are also called infusion pumps. Pumps allow you to have chemotherapy in a controlled way. The nurse programmes the pump to give you the correct amount of the drug over a set time.  

There are different types of pumps. If you have chemotherapy in hospital, the pump is attached to a drip stand with wheels, so you can move around.

There are also pumps you can go home with. These include continuous pressure pumps that don’t need a battery. There are also small battery operated pumps, sometimes called ambulatory pumps. Both these pumps are quite small and fit into a bag or a belt holster. You may need to go back to the hospital to have the pump changed. Or a home chemotherapy nurse or district nurse changes it.

The nurse will show you or a family member or friend how to look after the pump. If you have problems or questions when you get home, contact your chemotherapy nurse at the hospital or chemotherapy unit.

PDF Download symbol You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the Having Chemotherapy section.

 

Having chemo by chemotherapy pump

Chemotherapy pumps are also called infusion pumps. When chemotherapy is given through a central line or a PICC line a pump can be attached to give a controlled amount of drugs very slowly into your bloodstream. There are different types of pumps. 

If you are staying in hospital for chemotherapy you will have your chemotherapy through a pump that is attached to a drip stand. The drip stand is on wheels so you can walk about with it.

Photograph showing a nurse setting up an IV pump that you have in hospital

There are also pumps that you can go home with. Most of these pumps are continuous pressure pumps which means that they don't need a battery. This type of pump is quite small. You can carry it in a bag or belt holster which you will be given at the hospital.

Photograph of a continuous pressure pump for chemotherapy

There are also small battery operated pumps which you carry around like the continuous pressure pumps. They are sometimes called ambulatory pumps. There are different types and your nurse will show you how to operate it. 

You may need to have your continuous pressure or battery operated pump changed from time to time. You can

  • Go back to the hospital to have this done
  • Have a home chemotherapy or district nurse change it at home
 

Looking after the pump

The nurse shows you – or a family member or friend – how to look after the pump. If you have problems or questions when you get home, contact your chemotherapy nurse at the hospital or chemotherapy unit.

If you are nervous about being at home with the pump and the chemotherapy, talk to your doctor or specialist nurse. Once your questions are answered, you may feel better about it. If you would like more information about anything to do with infusion pumps, contact our cancer information nurses. They will be happy to help.

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Updated: 15 April 2013