An infusion pump is a type of medical device that delivers a variety of fluids to a patient’s body. These fluids typically include nutrients or drugs. One of the main advantages of using an infusion pump is that the fluids can be delivered in a controlled manner, at very small volumes, and at automated intervals.
Due to their adaptable nature, infusion pumps are used across a wide variety of healthcare environments, including hospitals, clinics, in-home care, and aged care facilities.
There are a number of different types of infusion pumps. Pumps tend to be classified depending on their size, function, and mobility.
Generally speaking, infusion pumps can be broken up into two categories: stationary and ambulatory. Stationary pumps are designed to sit at a patient’s bedside while ambulatory pumps can be used in a mobile setting. Ambulatory pumps are often set up for patients that require constant infusion, meaning they can carry their nutrients or medication with them wherever they travel.
Small infusion pumps, often called synergine pumps, are designed primarily to be used by small children and infants. They can be also used in situations where only a minute amount of substance is required, such as a very small dose of hormones.
Large volume pumps, on the other hand, are used in situations where the patient requires a large dose of nutrients or medication. A patient who is completely unable to eat, for example, might use a large volume pump to receive all of their meals.
The invention of intravenous medical technology has been one of the greatest developments in the healthcare sector.
Due to illness or injury, patients often find themselves unable to ingest nutrients and medication in a traditional manner. However, these substances are a vital part of the recovery process. Enter intravenous technology — the delivery of medicine or fluids through a needle inserted into a vein.
Intravenous technology dates back to the 17th century, when an Englishman by the name of Christopher Wren experimented with injecting alcohol into the veins of animals. This cruel and rudimentary method was quickly adapted by other scientists and physicians, particularly throughout Germany.
However, early uses of intravenous technology were often dangerous, indeed, fatal, to the patient. It often induced septic reactions and provoked unpleasant infections.
In the 19th century the hypodermic needle was invented, which made the process considerably safer and more hygienic. This was followed by the development of the syringe, forming a very early prototype of the infusion pump.
Up until the mid 20th century, intravenous therapy had been based entirely on gravity, which made it difficult to control the rate of substance deployment. The invention of the electromechanical pump in the 1960s, followed by the infusion pump in the 1970s, made intravenous treatment safer, more accurate, and more widely available.
As previously mentioned, the infusion pump is used in a wide variety of medical circumstances. Common examples include:
Home IV Therapy: There are many reasons why a patient might require home IV therapy. You may have started a course of antibiotics while in hospital that must be finished at home. You may be experiencing a hormone deficiency or be undergoing chemotherapy to treat cancer.
To Treat Dehydration: Patients suffering from a severe infection often present with significant dehydration. IV therapy can be used to quickly replace lost fluids in the body, returning body systems to a stable state.
During and Post-Surgery: Depending on the nature of a surgical procedure, a patient may require intravenous therapy. This can be used to deliver vital nutrients and drugs and also help stabilize body temperature, which is prone to fluctuations when a person is sedated.
If you manage a healthcare facility and are looking to upgrade your range of infusion pumps, there are several factors that you must consider.
Safety: When operated by a trained professional, infusion pumps are very safe. However, if your infusion pump lacks the relevant safety features or the healthcare worker does not know how to correctly set it up, you could be putting your patients in danger. Be sure to check that any type of pump you are interested in is outfitted with all the latest features.
Type: Will your patients benefit most from a portable or stationary pump? If the answer is the former, how actually portable is the device? Is it small and lightweight enough for the patient to carry around? How much power does it use?
Provider: Most of these considerations can be easily solved if you choose to purchase your infusion pump (and other medical supplies) through a trustworthy provider. Doing so means that you will have complete confidence in the quality of your equipment and have full access to a wide range of service and repair offerings.