Skip to Main Content

Welcome to

Together is a new resource for anyone affected by pediatric cancer - patients and their parents, family members, and friends.

Learn More
Blog Community

Subcutaneous Tissue Infusion Set

As part of your child's treatment, the care team may decide to give your child medicine through a Subcutaneous Tissue Infusion Set. The purpose of the Subcutaneous Tissue Infusion Set is to reduce the number of times your child requires an injection (shot) for medicine.

To place this infusion set, a nurse will place a small needle under the skin’s surface. Your doctor or nurse will explain which medicines to give your child through the set. Not all medicines can be given through a Subcutaneous Tissue Infusion Set.

Placement of the set

The nurse will clean the skin and apply a numbing cream before inserting the needle. Then the nurse will place the needle under your child’s skin. There should be no pain when the needle enters the skin. After placing the set, the nurse will cover it with a clear, tape-like cover, called a bio-occlusive dressing.

Care guidelines

Do not immerse the infusion set in water. This is important to prevent infection. While the set is in, do not allow your child to swim. Your child can bathe or shower if the set is fully covered. The set cannot come in contact with water.

After the set has been placed, it should not be painful. Usually receiving medicine through the set will not cause pain. If your child has more than mild discomfort, call a clinic doctor or nurse right away.

If you notice any signs of infection, such as fever, redness, drainage or swelling, report these to the clinic doctor or nurse right away.

Giving medicine through a Subcutaneous Tissue Infusion Set

Supplies

  • Syringe with medicine
  • Alcohol pad
  • End cap
  • 1 mL syringe with 0.1 mL saline (if needed)

Procedure

  1. Gather supplies.
  2. Wash your hands for 15-20 seconds with an antibacterial soap. Dry your hands with a clean towel or paper towels. Then use the same towel to turn off the water faucets.
  3. Using the alcohol pad, wipe the connection between the end cap and the “pigtail” of the infusion for 7 seconds. Let it dry for 7 another seconds. Do not blow on it to make it dry faster.
  4. Remove the end cap and throw it away in the regular trash.
  5. Attach the syringe with medicine to the pigtail. Slowly push the plunger to give medicine. Give no more than 1.5 mL of medicine at a time.
  6. The nurse will tell you if the infusion set must be flushed with saline after giving the medicine. If a saline flush is needed, remove the medicine syringe from the pigtail, and attach the saline syringe. Flush the set with 0.1mL of saline.
  7. Remove the syringe and throw it away in the regular trash.
  8. Place a new sterile end cap on the pigtail.
  9. Wash and dry your hands again.

Reminders

  • If you have questions about your child’s subcutaneous tissue infusion set, talk to your child’s doctor or nurse. 
  • If your child has more than mild discomfort, call your clinic doctor or nurse right away.
  • If you notice any signs of infection, such as fever, redness, drainage or swelling, report these to the clinic doctor or nurse right away.
  • Always follow your care team’s instructions.


Reviewed: August 2022