Accurate and Affordable infusion therapy, Is infusion monitor an alternative to pumps?
Updated: Oct 20, 2020
More than 75% patients admitted to a hospital receive an infusion. Administering medications at a consistent flow rate is crucial to patient outcomes and safety. Nowadays plethora of technology like large volume to syringe pumps are available for administering infusions. Large Volume Pump (LVP)/Volumetric pump is the most commonly used pumps to deliver medications to the patient. Currently, most LVPs rely on a peristaltic operation, typically using rollers to pinch down on a length of flexible tubing to move fluid forward (FDA, 2017).
Most of the infusion pumps are tested in lab-based scenarios and is precalibrated in fluid delivery and claim to have an error less than 5%. The fluid container height can cause deviations of nearly 3 percentage inaccuracy as published be various pumps manufacture. Similarly, catheter size, nature of the IV set etc can lead to critical errors in the actual IV line.
The errors of Large Volume Pumps in clinical side is not understood clearly and many clinicians are unaware of these factors, which may result in infusion delivery inaccuracies of as much as +/- 30%.
On the other hand, with infusion monitors, they detect the realtime drop rate by measuring the drops. This reading is independent of the nature of IV tube, catheter size etc and does not require pre-calibration for flow rate.
Gravity feed infusion rate also varies according to change in pressure head on the IV bag, cold flow in IV tube, but if the drop rate is constantly monitored using an infusion monitor, health practitioners will be able to achieve best results of accuracy at par with recommended errors. This makes infusion monitors an affordable and viable option for accurate infusion therapy for hospitals who are looking for simple and easy to maintain alternatives.
However, volumetric infusion monitors suffer from errors due to error in drop factor of IV sets. (Drop factor is the value that denotes the size of the drops in IV sets, For example for a 20 drop factor IV sets 20 drops makes one ml). Dripo with its one-time calibration feature makes the volumetric reading more accurate compared to any other infusion monitor in the market keeping volumetric errors at a minimum.
Here is a comparison chart between dripo and infusion monitor
Dripo costs one-fourth of a normal infusion pump available in the market and helps to augment normal gravity feeds to be accurate at par with LVPs. It also requires less training and calibration costs compared to infusion pumps.