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Blood Transfusion and Infusion Pump use - Revisited

Nurses   (346 Views 2 Comments)
by toasterja toasterja (New) New

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I was browsing through Allnurses when I came across a closed topic on blood transfusion using infusion pumps.

I was surprised to read the number of persons who use infusion pumps for blood transfusion. Though it would appear on the surface that this should be fine a quick read of all the manuals for the pumps I found state that they should NOT be used. The issue is NOT with the drop counter mechanism but with the actual pumping device, the peristaltic pump mechanism. And there are a few articles such as Infusion pumps and red blood cell damage in transfusion therapy: an integrative revision of the academic literature

The IVAC manual does say i can be used for blood products, which is strange considering it does use a peristaltic pumping mechanism like most other pump whose manuals have blood as a contraindication for use.

If i am not mistaken gravity is recommended or a pressure infuser if the rate needs to be higher.

Would be interested in what scientific data others have found, and what various user manuls from manufacturers such as Baxter, Medfusion, B Braun, Fresenius, Graseby etc say.

Edited by sirI

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MunoRN has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Critical Care.

6,364 Posts; 65,610 Profile Views

I can't find any manuals for pumps currently on the market that state they shouldn't be used for blood, the ones I've found specifically state they can be used for blood and have been tested for hemolysis rates which were not clinically significant.

While currently available pumps use the same basic premise of a peristaltic pump, the particular mechanisms have been updated and are now typically a shuttle style where the tubing is not squeezed to the point of occlusion; it milks the tubing more than pinches it.

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