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The Use of Infusion Pumps in Chemotherapy

The Use of Infusion Pumps in Chemotherapy

As you may be aware, infusion systems are used in countless applications within the medical field. Since they officially came into widespread use during the 1960s, infusion pumps have been used to dispense nutrients, medications, hormones, and other fluids to patients in a rapid and effective way. And since that time, advancements in this type of medical equipment have only continued to grow – as with the development of smart pumps, like the Sigma Spectrum and others which contain drug libraries and digital regulations within the pump itself to minimize errors. In this post, you can learn more about the number one medical application to administer medicine via infusion: chemotherapy. This post can serve as a helpful guide for chemotherapy patients who want to understand a bit more about how chemotherapy infusion works and what they can expect.

About Chemotherapy Infusion

When pumps like the Sigma Spectrum and other models are used, fluids (including medications) are delivered more directly into the patient's bloodstream. There are two basic classes of infusion pumps: while large volume pumps typically provide nutrients, small volume pumps are usually reserved for medications or hormones. In the case of chemotherapy infusion, these medicines (of which there are more than 100 agents) that are used to treat cancer will be dispensed through a pump that controls the rate and amount of infusion. Usually, chemotherapy medications are infused through a vein in the patient's hand or arm, but they are sometimes infused through a specific port or are injected under the skin. These medications then circulate through the entire body system to fight this disease.

What Patients Can Expect

Patients who utilize infusion systems for chemotherapy often want to know a bit more about what to expect when they come to these treatment sessions. Chemotherapy treatment sessions can last anywhere from a half an hour to up to 10 hours, depending on the situation. Patients will usually need to have blood samples taken prior to beginning chemotherapy treatment to determine the correct dose of medication. After patients meet with their healthcare providers, the chemotherapy medications will be prepared before beginning the infusion. During the actual infusion process, patients can take a nap, read, watch TV, surf the web, or engage in other activities that are fairly restful and sedentary in nature. After the infusion session is completed, you may be observed by healthcare staff to minimize potential side effects and provide guidance for care after you head home.

While undergoing chemotherapy treatment is certainly not going to be an enjoyable experience for patients, it's infusion pump advancements that make treatments like this possible. To learn more about the types of infusion systems we carry, including the Baxter Sigma Spectrum please get in touch with us today.