Preferred Medical

Infusion Supplies Types and Uses

In a dynamic healthcare landscape, infusion therapy stands out as an essential al modality in a variety of medical settings. From hospitals to home healthcare, infusion therapy not only provides critical nutrients and medications but also requires a delicate balance of precision and safety. A pivotal aspect of ensuring this precision is the infusion supplies used, which come in various types, each catering to specific therapies. If you're an infusion provider navigating this terrain, understanding the diverse tools at your disposal is crucial for delivering top-tier care.

Understanding Infusion

In order to successfully administer infusion therapy, no matter the type, there are many pieces of equipment, including IV Catheters, IV administration on Sets, IV supplies (IV Poles, EVA bags, Syringes, etc.) and Infusion Pumps. You may also utilize an IV start kit, which usually includes gloves, a tourniquet, gauze, and dressings.

The effectiveness of infusion therapy is hinged upon the precision and reliability of the supplies used. Here is an overview of the primary categories:

Infusion Catheters

Intravenous Catheters are essential for patient care. Catheters tend to provide more secure access and are better for long-term therapies. There are multiple types of infusion catheters, and each has their own uses.

  • Peripheral Venous: a single lumen catheter inserted into a peripheral vein in either the hand or forearm. Can be used for the administration of IV fluids, or short-term access to IV therapy, blood samples, etc.
  • Central Venous: Also know as a Central Line, this catheter is placed into a large vein just above or directly into the heart through a small incision in the neck, chest, or groin. Good for long-term venous access.
  • PICC (Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter): a long, slender, flexible catheter inserted into an arm vein above the elbow. Used to administer treatments over a period of time.

Intravenous (IV) Infusion Sets

IV administration sets come in a variety of configurations, such as filtered, vented, or non-vented, based on the type of infusion therapy or patient needs. The primary components include the spike for piercing the IV bag, a drip chamber, tubing, and a connector that joins with the catheter or needle in the patient's vein. The drip chamber allows for the visualization of the flow rate.

Some IV administration sets do have a flow regulator known as a Dial-A-Flo Sets which have a unique dial that allows you to easily set the drip rate in quantitative values.

Infusion Pumps: A Precise Approach

Infusion pumps are designed to deliver fluids, medications, and nutrients at precise rates and volumes. They are incredibly beneficial for therapies that require strict adherence to dosing and timing, such as chemotherapy, pain management, and anti-biotics.

Types of infusion pumps include:

  • Volumetric Infusion Pumps: Stationary or portable devices that are used in hospitals, clinics, and infusion centers.
  • Syringe Infusion Pumps: Optimized for delivering small volumes from a syringe into a patient's vascular system.
  • Elastomeric Infusion Pumps: A lightweight, disposable pump that uses pressure to infuse medication. With no external power source.
  • Ambulatory Pumps: A portable, lightweight pump, that is commonly used for outpatient infusion centers, home infusion and ambulatory care settings.

Disposable Infusion Supplies

To keep patients safe during infusion therapy, a variety of supplies may be used, such as:

  • Disinfecting Caps: designed to disinfect the access ports of IV catheters and needless connectors.
  • Connectors: have various uses, such as providing access to ports or adding fluids and medications.
  • IV Start Kits: PPE (such as gloves, masks, etc.), dressings, tourniquets, etc.
  • Dressing Change Kits: PPE, dressings, alcohol prep pads, gauze, etc.
  • Flushes: typically saline, used to flush out any residual medication or fluid from the IV line.
  • Secondary Sets: for intermitt ent infusion that infuses at regular intervals; shorter tubing.
  • Extension sets: extend tubes to put more distance between the patient and the fluid administered.
  • IV poles: designed for use in doctor’s offices, hospitals, infusion suites, or in patient’s homes.
  • Needle-free Devices and Valves: reduce the risk of needlestick injuries and facilitate access. The different types include: positive or negative displacement connectors, open system connectors, and closed system transfer devices.

Strategic Use of Infusion Equipment for Different Therapies

The choice of equipment is not one-size-fits-all. Here are some suggested therapies for each infusion pump type:

Elastomeric Pumps

Use for a variety of medications and therapies, including anti-biotics, anti-virals, chemotherapy, 5FU, cytostatic, analgesics, and local anesthetics. They are compact, lightweight, and unobtrusive. Thanks to their independent and portable nature, along with their high safety standards, elastomeric pumps offer significant benefits, particularly in stationary and ambulatory settings.

Volumetric Infusion Pumps

Volumetric pumps are used to deliver fluids, medications, or nutrients into a patient’s bloodstream at a controlled rate. Because of this, this particular pump is a great choice for hydration and wellness therapies, as well as pain management and some specialty infusion therapies, where a controlled rate of medication or fluids is essential.

Syringe Infusion Pumps

Syringe infusion pumps are commonly utilized to accurately deliver highly concentrated drugs intravenously (IV) at low flow rates. Due to its ability to control the flow rate over long periods of time, this particular pump is widely used to administer anesthetics.

Ambulatory Pumps

Ambulatory pumps are designed to be portable or wearable. This makes them ideal for infusion therapy outside of a hospital setting, including home infusion therapy. It can be used to treat multiple diseases and conditions, such as cancer, chronic pain, etc.

Infusion Catheters

Catheters are a more complex infusion system due to the fact they are placed directly into a vein and can be used for long-term therapies. They are commonly used to deliver medications, fluids, blood products, or nutrition, such as cytotoxins (for cancer), regional anesthesia, etc.


Infusion therapy equipment embodies an intricate amalgamation of medical precision and practical functionality. By understanding the diversity of available supplies, educational pathways to their mastery, and the consistent adoption of best practices, infusion providers can elevate the standard of care they deliver. As technology continues to march forward, remaining agile and informed will be the golden rule for those who aim to excel in the art and science of infusion therapy.

 Our customer service representatives are standing by to answer your questions contact us today toll-free at 800-722-7865. We look forward to hearing from you!