Infusion Pumps

Absolute Medical carries a wide selection of stationary and ambulatory external infusion pumps, covering a broad range of clinical settings, from leading manufacturers including Abbott, Alaris, Baxter, Hospira, Medfusion, and Sims Deltec. Programmable infusion pumps precisely control the rate and duration intervals of fluid delivery, and are able to do so in very large or small volumes.  Often used to administer critical fluids ranging from pain relievers and nutrients to high risk medications, antibiotics, and chemotherapy drugs, alerts and alarms are triggered if air or another occlusion is detected in the tubing.  Smart pumps will even forewarn if there is a risk of an adverse drug interaction, or if the user sets the pump’s parameters to exceed specified safety limits.  Fluid administration may be intravenous, intra-arterial, epidural or subcutaneous.  

Infusion Pumps Questions & Answers

An infusion pump is a medical device that delivers fluids, such as nutrients and medications, into a patient’s body in controlled amounts. Infusion pumps are in widespread use in clinical settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, and in private residences. Infusion pumps are used to administer critical fluids ranging from pain relievers and nutrients to high risk medications, antibiotics, and chemotherapy.
In general, an infusion pump is operated by a trained user, who programs the rate and duration of fluid delivery through a built-in software interface. Infusion pumps offer significant advantages over manual administration of fluids, including the ability to deliver fluids in very small volumes, and the ability to deliver fluids at precisely programmed rates or automated intervals.
Leading manufacturers, such as Abbott, Baxter, Medfusion, Sims Deltec and Alaris, offer many types of infusion pumps, including large volume, patient-controlled analgesia (PCA), elastomeric, syringe, enteral, and insulin pumps. Some are designed mainly for stationary use at a patient’s bedside.  Others, called ambulatory infusion pumps, are designed to be portable or wearable.
Because infusion pumps are frequently used to administer critical fluids, including high-risk medications, pump failures can have significant implications for patient safety. Many infusion pumps are equipped with safety features, such as alarms or other operator alerts that are intended to activate in the event of a problem. For example, some pumps are designed to alert users when air or another blockage is detected in the tubing that delivers fluid to the patient. Some newer infusion pumps, often called smart pumps, are designed to alert the user when there is a risk of an adverse drug interaction, or when the user sets the pump’s parameters outside of specified safety limits.
Many infusion pumps are controlled by a small embedded system. They are carefully designed so that no single cause of failure can harm the patient. For example, most have batteries in case the wall-socket power fails.
Many pumps include an internal electronic log of the last several thousand therapy events. These are usually tagged with the time and date from the pump's clock. Usually, erasing the log is a feature protected by a security code, specifically to detect staff or patient abuse of the pump.
Infusion pumps should be certified to have no single point of failure. That is, no single cause of failure should cause the pump to silently fail to operate correctly. It should at least stop pumping and make at least an audible error indication. This is a minimum requirement on all human-rated infusion pumps of whatever age. It is not required for veterinary infusion pumps.
Infusion pumps can administer fluids in ways that would be impractically expensive or unreliable if performed manually by nursing staff. For example, they can administer as little as 0.1 mL per hour injections (too small for a drip), injections every minute, and so forth.