Handling Supplies

This article has been archived.
Please use for reference only.

Penn Home Infusion Team
University of Pennsylvania Health System
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Share article


Sterile technique is a way to handle supplies and solutions that will keep them free from bacteria or germs. Keeping these items sterile is the most important thing you can do to prevent infection while you are on home infusion therapy.

Bacteria and germs are found everywhere. They are normally on the skin. They can cause serious infections if they enter your bloodstream from needles, tubing, dressings, or infusion solutions.

Use sterile technique when you change your dressing, begin and end infusions, flush your catheter, change the injection cap, or do anything else related to your infusion.

  1. Wash your hands. (See the Handwashing section in this manual for more information.)
  2. Use a clean work area to organize supplies. (See the Work Area section of this manual for more information.)
  3. Keep supplies in front of you and above waist level at all times.
  4. Check the date on all solutions. DO NOT use any solution that is past the date marked or has expired.
  5. Look at the labels to make sure your name is on them. check the appearance of the solution and the container. DO NOT use if there are cracks, tears, or leaks, or if the solution is cloudy. If anything looks unusual DO NOT USE.
  6. Check the solution for your correct prescription and dosage.
  7. When in doubt about the solution's appearance, DO NOT use it.
  8. After removing a protective cap from IV tubing, syringe, solution, or injection cap, DO NOT touch the sterile part that was uncovered.
  9. DO NOT touch the plunger shaft of a syringe after you have pulled it out to withdraw medications.
  10. DO NOT use any supplies whose protective covers are torn or missing.