For Caregivers

Caring For Your Child

Once your child’s MIBG infusion begins, the primary caregiver at home becomes the primary caregiver in the hospital. You will provide much of the day-to-day care, but the nursing staff and the rest of the medical team are there to help if you need them.

  • The nurse will enter to take vital signs in the morning, and if your child has a catheter, to empty the urine collection bag.
  • The nurse will also administer all IV meds. The pump and IV pole will be kept right inside the door of the MIBG treatment room, and extension tubing will connect the pump to your child’s IV or central line.
  • The attending physician, fellow, and/or nurse practitioner will examine your child every day.

Safety training

Before you take on any of these responsibilities, you’ll complete Environmental Health and Radiation Safety Training. Only trained family members may provide care during treatment. To limit exposure, only one caregiver can stay in the room at a time. We recommend that two caregivers be available during the hospital stay.

Caregiver responsibilities

When you are admitted to the MIBG treatment room, your nurse will review the Parent Contract with you. The nurse will go over all of the parent responsibilities, which will include changing linens, bathing, feeding, assist with toileting and giving oral medications. When oral medication is due, the nurse will enter the room, check your child’s ID band, and hand the medication to you to give to your child.

Giving medications is an important part of your job as caregiver, and you may need to wake up in the middle of the night to give your child required medication. In addition to any medication your child already takes, you will give:

  • Potassium iodide or SSKI (oral) throughout hospitalization to protect your child’s thyroid
  • Medications for nausea if needed
  • Medications to prevent bladder spasm if needed

Watch the process for giving your child oral medications, provided to you by a nurse, during MIBG treatment.

Emptying catheter collection bag

For many children, a catheter is used to drain urine from the bladder to reduce the radiation exposure to the bladder. The collection bag is stored in the yellow lead box next to the bed, and a nurse will empty this once each shift. If your child needs to get out of bed, a nurse may need to empty the collection bag first. Older patients may not be required to have a bladder catheter system. This decision will be made by the medical team.