If you have ever been in the hospital for anything at all, odds are that you’ve been hooked up to an IV. This stands for intravenous and it refers to receiving medication or fluids straight into your vein. IV lines can deliver basic fluid for dehydration but they also can be a way to deliver pain medications directly into the blood stream. This allows medications to be metabolized more quickly and it also prevents you from needing shots and multiple needle sticks while being treated. The IV can be left in place and nurses can come into your room and administer medication straight into your IV line.
The machine that controls the rate at which the fluid from the IV bag is pumped into your blood stream is called an IV infusion pump. Modern medicine has relied on these machines for many, many years. Few changes have been made to these devices in all of these years.
How Do Infusion Pumps Work?
Some pumps are mobile (ambulatory) and will enable the patient being treated to get up and move around by rolling the machine with them. Using the restroom or stretching legs and walking up and down the hospital hall is possible with this pump. Other styles of the device are not mobile and the person must remain stationary for treatment while on this machine.
Aside from medication, infusion pumps can also deliver nutrition to patients that are perhaps unconscious and unable to eat. Patients who need vitamins delivered into their systems in large doses can receive them in this manner. Infusion pumps can be set to administer exactly the right amount of medication at set intervals. This helps busy hospital staff to make sure that all patients receive their treatments are the correct times. This also means fewer mistakes that can happen. Ultimately patients get better management for pain and medications, which is the goal.
Some of the devices are used in conjunction with a blood pressure sleeve which helps to create just the right amount of pressure for the infusion. There is also an air filter on many types of units. This helps keep pathogens from entering the blood system and since it is being used in a vein, if any tiny bits of clean air manage to enter into a vein, they are able to pass through the heart and then into the lungs to pass out of the system anyway.
These pumps enable hospitals to proved the best possible treatment for patients, on schedules that can be adhered to easily, while removing the possibility of human error. They have dramatically improved care and continue to be a large part of treatment in Western medicine. By assisting in the delivery of fluid, medication, and nutrition, patients are able to receive precise amounts of the treatment they need at just the right time. Hospital staff are able to make small changes to dosages and add various things to the course of treatment very easily.