What Is An Elastomeric Pump & How is it Used?
An elastomeric pump, also known as a balloon pump or ball pump, is a medical device used for infusing medication. Depending on the therapy needed, these medications might include antibiotics, chemotherapy, 5FU, cytostatics, analgesics, and local anesthetics.
How Elastomeric Pumps Work
Elastomeric pumps use pressure to infuse medication. This pressure is created by an elastomeric layer which is molded into the inside of the pump. When the elastomeric pump gets filled, the elastomeric layer becomes stretched. The elastic constriction then drives the liquid that is present through the tubing.
The liquid eventually goes through the flow restrictor and then out into the connection with the patient. The pressure will be consistent in level until the infusion is nearly over, which is when there is usually a pressure spike that results in a slightly higher rate of flow.
The flow restrictor controls the accuracy of the rate of flow. The flow restrictor is typically a steel cannula or glass capillary which is molded into the system tubing or even placed inside the elastomeric reservoir.
Elastomeric pumps do not need electricity, nor are they driven by gravity. When a pump is placed below or above a patient, the rate of flow will often decrease or increase thanks to the head height effect.
How To Fill An Elastomeric Pump
Before being given to the patient, a qualified pharmacy will fill the device with the medication prescribed inside a sterile environment. The action of filling the pump gets done manually using a one-way valve, either through a peristaltic repeater pump or a syringe. Elastomeric pumps do not require maintenance, nor do they depend on any electronics. They are disposable after a single use.
Depending upon the size of the pump, the drug inside the balloon pump will get delivered over a specific amount of time to the patient. This spread of time might be as short as half an hour or as long as a week. It arrives at the patient ready to use and will not need programming like an electronic pump. These kinds of pumps are great for patients that require high levels of mobility.
Advantages of Elastomeric Pumps
Using an elastomeric pump to infuse IV solutions offers many benefits. First, Elastomeric pumps do not require gravity like traditional IV’s. They’re small, lightweight, and portable so there is no need to be chained to an IV pole. These pumps can be carried in a pouch or even sometimes a pocket. Depending on the type of medication being used, there are potential storage advantages because freezing or refrigeration is possible. These devices come with their own pre-attached tubing which minimizes additional expenses.
Using Elastomeric Pumps
Depending on the elastomeric pump, the directions for use may vary. Manufacturer’s instructions for use should be included with any elastomeric pump. No matter what brand of home pump used, the same general supplies will be needed. These infusion supplies include alcohol wipes, flushes, and the medication. Typically, pre-filled elastomeric pumps will be stored in a refrigerator or freezer. Therefore it will need to rest at room temperature for a while before beginning the infusion.
It is essential to verify that the medication for the infusion is the correct medication for the patient. Check the pre-filled pump for appropriate labeling somewhere on the pump or its packaging. It likely will include the patient's name, the name of the medication, the dosage, the expiration date, and possibly the doctor's name. If any of this information is incorrect or missing, it’s better to be safe than sorry and not use the pump. If there is any question, consult the physician or physician's assistant for appropriate next steps to take.
Always make sure the pump has integrity. Check it carefully for any defects, leaks, significant abrasions, cracks, or any other damage. Once it has been confirmed the pump contains the correct medication for the patient, that it is in working order, and all supplies have been prepared, the patient is now ready to begin the infusion with an elastomeric pump.
Buying Elastomeric Infusion Pumps
Preferred Medical is a nationwide supplier of elastomeric pumps, homepumps, and many other infusion supplies. We carry elastomeric pumps for hospitals and healthcare centers in a variety of sizes, flow rates, and case quantities. These pumps are available in sizes ranging from 60ml to 500ml with flow rates of up to 250ml per hour. They combine the highest quality standards with the volumes and flow rates you need for successful drug delivery.
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