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Infusion Pumps

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Infusion pumps have a wide range of applications and are used by a variety of medical professionals. An infusion pump is a medical device used to administer fluids to patients these fluids could include medicine, anesthetic or nutrients. Different kinds of infusion pumps include an intravenous, syringe or enteral feeding pumps. Images below show some different kinds of infusion pumps that TRH Services works with on an ongoing basis.

Infusion Pumps Operation

Infusion pumps are becoming more user-friendly with time. The following list outlines a typical operation of an infusion pump:

  • Prime the IV tubing set or syringe being used for administration
    • Some infusion pumps will have a prime feature.
  • Ensure no air bubbles are present in the IV tubing set.
  • Power on the infusion pump.
  • Select the pump channel to operate if the unit has multiple channels.
  • Install the IV tubing set or syringe being used for administration.
  • If the infusion pump has a prime feature, use it to prime the line.
  • Select the flow rate (ml/hour).
  • Select the volume to administer (ml).
  • Connect administration line to the patient.
  • Confirm the infusion settings.
  • Start the infusion.
  • Infusion pumps will alarm once the infusion is complete.
  • Clamp the administration set and remove it from the device.
  • Power down the infusion pump.

Common Infusion Pump Failures

Whether due to a faulty equipment part or user error, infusion pump failures can be cumbersome and time-consuming. Below is a list of common infusion pump failures TRH Services comes across all too often. If you are experiencing infusion pump issues and are unsure of the problem, give TRH Services a call at 519-893-9488 for help with initial troubleshooting steps.

  • Improper installation of IV tubing set or syringe
  • Incorrect administration set is used with the infusion pump
  • Kinks or pinches in IV tubing sets causing occlusions
  • Unit is not plugged in to charge and batteries become depleted
  • Power cords are worn or damaged and exceed a safe level of protective earth resistance
  • Buttons on keypads are worn or damaged and no longer function properly
  • Flow rate accuracy is not within the specified range and requires calibration
  • Occlusion alarms do not function due to pressure sensors failing
  • Air bubbles are not detected due to Air-In-Line sensors failing
  • Residue from leaks or spills cause latching mechanisms to stick
  • Pump motor failure.

5 Tips to Maintain Infusion Pumps & Prolong Life Span

  1. CLEAN infusion pumps regularly – including tubing channels, air-in-line sensors and door latching mechanisms.
  2. INSPECT for any visible damage – including casing, power cords, latch mechanisms and pump channel. Identifying concerns in the early stage can prevent compounding issues.
  3. PLUG infusion pumps into charge when not in use.
  4. ARRANGE to have worn parts replaced on infusion pumps to minimize strain on equipment – including power cords, keypads, sensors and latching mechanisms.
  5. INSTALL new batteries in infusion pumps regularly – consistent with manufacturer specifications.

TRH Services Preventative Maintenance Program

Routine preventative maintenance of infusion pumps is essential to ensuring functionality and identifying potential equipment issues early. TRH Services servicing program helps prevent excessive wear or sudden equipment failure while prolonging equipment life span. TRH Services’ comprehensive testing procedure is tailored to each infusion pump manufacturer’s specification. All testing procedures include the following:

  • electrical safety inspection
  • flow accuracy tests
  • occlusion alarm tests
  • air-in-line sensor tests
  • battery inspection

TRH Services’ technologists will work with users to address any concerns regarding equipment. Each piece of equipment will be labelled with a “preventative maintenance” sticker indicating it was serviced by TRH Services and the next date for service. All equipment and servicing completed are documented in TRH Services’ computer maintenance management system. This documentation makes it easy to track inventory, servicing history and scheduling of routine maintenance. Following on-site servicing, a summary report of all equipment maintenance is provided. Details on the report include the equipment type, make, model, serial number and location as well as recommendations and required repairs.

TRH services is experienced in infusion pump repairs, including flow calibration, pressure sensor replacement, PCB replacement and battery replacement. TRH Services also has an emergency response program for addressing urgent equipment concerns that may arise.

For more details on TRH Services infusion pump equipment servicing, call 519-893-9488 or email info@trhservices.ca


Written By: Hannah Arthurs, EIT

Edited By: Tyler Hasenpflug, CET


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