Syringe pumps, also known as infusion pumps, are found in both human and veterinary medical facilities. These instruments provide life-saving medications, fluids and even blood to patients in need. Most hospitals buy or rent syringe pumps that can be used in a variety of ways, and newer digital pump technology provides increased accuracy, providing overall increases in patient safety.
The Uses of Syringe Pumps and Infusion Pumps
The main purpose of these pumps is to provide a patient with medical or nutritional needs that their body requires. While facilities can choose to have standard bedside pumps or the portable variety, the pumps function in the same manner. In general, syringe and infusion pumps are used in the following situations:
- Large volume: provide boluses of fluid or blood
- Enteral: provide nutritional support
- Insulin: provide a consistent dosage of insulin to a diabetic patient
- Patient-controlled analgesia: provide patient ability to self-administer pain medication
The Difference Between Syringe Pumps and Infusion Pumps
While these two terms are typically used interchangeably, there are key differences between a research syringe pump and an infusion pump. Research syringe pumps are to be used only in lab facilities where handle only small quantities of fluids. These types of syringe pumps are typically not recalled, and since they are for research purposes and not to be used on living species, their accuracy has to be almost 100 percent. On the other hand, infusion pumps are the pumps used inside hospitals, clinics and nursing homes. They are strictly regulated by the FDA and can be subject to safety recalls. While accuracy needs to remain high with infusion pumps, they do not have to be nearly as high as the percentage necessary in a research syringe pump.
Based on the needs of a company, there are many options available for syringe and infusion pumps to make work more accurate, efficient and safe.