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Caring at home for a child with cancer can leave family members with risky tasks

from The Washington Post

Angela Cooper arrived home from work to discover that her daughter's temperature had spiked to 102 degrees, a sign that the teenager, who has cancer, had a potentially deadly bloodstream infection. As Cooper rushed her daughter to the hospital, her mind raced: Had she done something to cause the infection? Cooper, who works at a Chevy dealership in Iowa, has no medical background. She is one of thousands of parents who perform a daunting medical task at home — caring for a child's catheter, called a central line, that is inserted in the arm or torso to make it easier to draw blood or administer drugs. As more medical care shifts from hospital to home, families take on more complex, risky medical tasks for their loved ones. But hospitals have not done enough to help these families, said Amy Billett, director of quality and safety at the cancer and blood disorders center at the ­Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Boston Children's Hospital. more

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