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What populations do infusion clinics serve?

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Infusion clinics serve people for whom oral medications are not effective treatments, such as patients suffering from cancer, gastrointestinal diseases and infections that have not responded to antibiotics, states the National Home Infusion Association. People suffering from conditions such as congestive heart failure, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis and pneumonia may receive infusion treatments in a clinic or at home.

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Doctors most commonly prescribe intravenous antibiotics for use in infusion therapy, though patients may also receive chemotherapy, pain management, antifungal and antiviral treatments, notes the National Home Infusion Association. The antibiotics treat conditions such as cellulitis, sepsis, osteomyelitis, urinary tract infections and sinusitis. Patients may also receive intramuscular injections and epidurals into the membranes surrounding the spinal cord during infusion treatments. Doctors may prescribe infusion treatments for patients with chronic or rare conditions, using drugs such as corticosteroids, inotropic heart medications, growth hormones, immunoglobulin and natalizumab.

The three types of ambulatory infusion centers are ambulatory infusion suites of the home infusion therapy provider, physician-based infusion clinics and hospital-based infusion clinics, notes the National Home Infusion Association. Registered nurses and pharmacists provide infusion treatments ordered by doctors in ambulatory infusion suites of the home infusion therapy provider. Infusion nurses have specialized training in areas such as alternate site administration of drugs by infusion.

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