Evaluating IV Pumps for use

Nurses General Nursing


We are currently thinking about getting some IV pumps in our place of work.

What features are good to look for on these things?

What do you use the most?

What features does the ideal IV pump have?

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated !!! :nurse:

iluvivt, BSN, RN

2,774 Posts

Specializes in Infusion Nursing, Home Health Infusion.

here are a few tips...find out by which mechanism the pump will be working...the two most common are peristalsis driven and cassette operated. with a perastaltic system fluid is propelled through the infusion line with intermittent wave-like movement...the cassette system has a mechanism in the machine that accepts set selective disposable administration tubing that controls the volume of the infusate...you will need to factor in the fact you will need that tubing

here are some other factors to consider

1. price

2 Safety features are a HUGE issue..here is what to look at

a. audible alarms

b. battery life and operation indicators

c. anti free flow protection....this is a biggie

d. adjustable occlusion pressure levels

e. accuracy of delivery indicator

f. drug/dose calculation

g. in-line pressure monitoring

h. anti -tamper mechanisms

3. Multi -dosing capabilities

4 dual rate piggbacking...or can it automatically switch from secondary back to primary

5. Does it perform volume/time dosing...aoutomatic calculation of rate by programming volume and time

6. air alarms...how do they work..can you bypass them or control the sensitivity

7. Is the pump single or are there dual chambers available

8. does it have a programmable start time..where it can automatically start multiple infusions at specified times

9. Does it have a multi-step function so you can taper up or down and increase rates to pts tolerance of the drug

10. rapid rate on line titration or can you make adjustment without interrupting the flow

11. can it perform pressure trends

12. how easy is the pump to work in dim lighting...does it have a backlit light and easy to see display

13.. Can you adjust the loudness of the alarm(s) if needed

14. Can it be used in pediatrics and for very small rates..can it deliver from 0.1 ml to 999 ml per hr.....what is the max rate..most are 999 per hr

15...is it a controller as well or just a pump..some models let you switch between a controller and a pump

16...what does the pole look like..is it stable and will the nurses and others not trip on it...i have seen some horrible poles that I am always tripping on and they do not support the pump wee

this will get you started and I will add more if I think of any.....Mary


8 Posts

The pumps we use at our hospital have different programs based on the units the pumps are used such as general med surg or critical care. They have a guardrails program that prevents specific medications from being hung and run incorrectly.

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