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Infusion Pump Glossary: Important Terms to Know

Infusion Pump Glossary- Important Terms to Know

When a medical professional needs to regulate the amount and rate of fluids given through an IV, there are two ways to accomplish this task. While the manual method has been in use for a longer period of time, the electric pump method has become the preferred technique since being introduced to the market in the 1960s. But even though hospitals and healthcare facilities use infusion pumps on a daily basis, not every staff member will be familiar with some of the terminology that pertains to this equipment. We've explained some of the most important terms in today's helpful glossary post.

  • Independent Double-Check: This refers to the concept of two clinicians checking infusion settings separately, and then comparing their results, to ensure they conform to the supervising physician's orders. This can help to reduce errors in a variety of settings.
  • Loading Dose: The total opioid dose required in a PCA pump, dispensed automatically or by a medical professional in a recovery setting.
  • Lockout Interval: This refers to the period before the pump can provide the next dose. The pump will refuse to administer further doses (regardless of any further demands made by a patient) before the time limit is up. The use of smart pumps in PCA settings can help reduce user error.
  • Over- or Under-Infusion: Situations in which fluid or medication is delivered to a patient in higher or lower amounts than was intended. These errors may occur more frequently when smart IV pumps are not used or training is inadequate.
  • Patient Controlled Analgesia: PCA pumps give more power to the patient, allowing them to better manage their pain. These pumps are equipped with safeguards to ensure analgesics are delivered in a safe manner, yet reduce the need for a patient to feel discomfort before the administration of a new dose.
  • Smart Pump: An infusion pump containing error prevention software for IV medications. These pumps will alert users when settings fall outside the pre-programmed limits to prevent medical errors.
  • Syringe Infusion Pump: External pump equipment that uses a motor, plunger, and piston syringe to hold fluid and control fluid delivery.
  • Use Error: The unsafe and ineffective use of medical devices and treatment. This type of use can lead to errors that can result in harm or injury to the patient. Understanding why and how use errors occur is imperative to improving healthcare environments and patient care. Often, smart pumps can alleviate many of these errors; however, proper and ongoing training also plays a key role.

We hope this post on infusion pump terms will help everyone within your organization increase their knowledge on this topic. Feel free to share this information with others. To find out more about how our medical equipment rentals can improve your facility overall, contact us today.