Infusion Pumps Overview

Infusion pumps are medical devices that are used to deliver fluids into the patient’s body. Using these medical devices makes it possible to administer nutrients and medications in controlled amounts. They are widely used in a variety of clinical settings including hospitals and nursing homes.

Using infusion pumps has become widely popular because of their capability to administer fluids that are practically impossible to control manually by medical professionals. They can deliver fluids in very small volumes and at precisely programmed rates. Only trained professionals can operate these medical devices as using it involves programming of the rate and duration using their built-in software.

The ability of infusion pumps to produce high but controlled pressures makes these devices highly useful in injecting highly controlled amounts of fluids into the subcutaneous, or into the epidural. Some of the fluids that can be administered using infusion pumps include insulin, hormones, chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics, and pain relievers.

Different Types of Infusion Pumps

Buying an infusion pump, whether it’s for replacement or first-time purchase can be quite confusing, especially with so many infusion pumps available around. Hence, it’s important for you to know the different types of this medical device to be properly guided on which one to buy.

Ambulatory Infusion Pump

This type of infusion pump provides patients with the freedom to move around while undergoing treatment. They usually run on batteries and their convenience makes them a good choice for use by emergency personnel. An insulin pump is a good example of an ambulatory infusion pump.

Pole-Mounted Infusion Pump

The pole-mounted infusion pump isn’t as portable compared to the ambulatory infusion pump but has more features compared to the latter. Because of this, they are usually the ones used in the hospital setting. This type of medical device can also be used at home, but the mobility of the patient is something that should be considered.

Syringe Infusion Pump

Syringe infusion pumps are ideal to use for administering fluids in small amounts. They are typically used in administering drugs that can be critical to patient’s health when too much is given. Examples of which are pain relievers like morphine.

Multi-Channel Infusion Pump

If multiple fluids are to be administered to a patient, then using the multi-channel infusion pump is the best choice. This kind of infusion pump can administer more than one type of fluid at the same time. With a multi-channel infusion pump, it’s possible to administer antibiotic and antiemetic drug all at the same time.

Enteral Infusion Pump

For patients needing continuous nourishment, the enteral infusion pump is typically used. This feeding pump is attached to the patient’s shunt so that there is a continuous delivery of nourishment.

Factors to Consider When Buying an Infusion Pump

Just like when buying other medical equipment, there are things to consider when you purchase an infusion pump. These include the following:

Portability

If patient’s mobility is considered important, then it’s best to choose a portable infusion pump. These portable medical devices are usually battery-operated and are relatively small and lightweight compared to other types of infusion pumps.

Battery Management

There will be several instances when patients are to be transported while on IV so it’s important to get infusion pumps that can run on battery power alone for hours. It’s also equally important to ensure that the pump won’t run out of battery power.

User Interface

User interface pertains to the program use to set the flow rate and store other information like patient information, type of fluid being infused, battery life, and alarm conditions. You must choose an infusion pump with a user interface that suits your needs.

Displays

Most of the infusion pumps on the market these days come with full-color, backlit liquid-crystal displays. There are also infusion pumps that have auxiliary alphanumeric displays.

Alarms

Audible and visual alarms are common features of infusion pumps. They alert users of faults and potentially dangerous situations.

Most infusion pumps come with bicolor or tricolor LEDs as visual indicators. For audible alarms, it can be as simple as a beep or a more sophisticated one such as those with voice synthesis.

Logging and Timekeeping

Logging and timekeeping is another factor to consider when getting an infusion pump. The infusion pump must be able to log every event such as the start and end of every infusion.

Tips When Buying an Infusion Pump

Whether you’re buying for the first time or getting a replacement, the following tips can help you get the right infusion pump for your needs:

  1. Consider the safety features
    Patient safety should always be in mind when getting infusion pumps. Make sure that the pump includes a time and date stamped log and is capable of storing data of events of error codes (at least 200) in order to determine pump-related adverse incidents.
  2. Look for fluid proof
    Infusion pumps should be fluid proof. The pump should set an alarm and trigger an automatic shutdown whenever the fluid penetrates the electronic circuitry.
  3. Check the infusion rate
    The pump should be capable of delivering a flow of 0.1 or at least 999 mL per hour. You must also check the device’s flow rate accuracy.
  4. Determine how long it takes to charge
    The infusion pump should take less than 10 hours to recharge fully. In the case of power failure, the pump must automatically switch to battery power.
  5. Know the number of pumping channels needed
    Knowing beforehand how many pumping channels that you need will help you save time when looking for an infusion pump. There are single and multiple channel infusion pumps.
  6. Read unbiased product reviews
    If this is your first time to buy an infusion pump, then reading product reviews will be a great help. Stick to sites and forums that provide unbiased reviews of medical equipment, as those accepting sponsored posts tend to provide reviews that favor the company sponsoring them.
  7. Compare vendors
    If you’re trying to save cost on infusion pumps, then it’s best to compare vendors. When comparing vendors, do not just look at the price but also on the reputation of the seller. It’s also important to look into product warranty as unexpected product defects will cost you more.

Whether you’re buying a brand new or refurbished medical equipment such as infusion pumps, you can trust Absolute Medical. The company has a wide range of ambulatory and stationary external infusion pumps from the leading manufacturers. You can check out its full list of infusion pumps here.

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