Pumping Fluids into The Body

An infusion pump is used in medical settings to administer fluids to a patient. The pump can be set to control the amount of the fluid that the person receives. Pumps come in various sizes and are used for different types of treatments that include medications for cancer or nutrients for patients who are dehydrated.

How Is It Used?

An IV Pump is usually put beside the patient’s bed without plans for moving it in the future so that the patient can receive medications and other fluids that are needed for treatment. Most pumps are on a stand with wheels on the bottom to allow for moving around if the patient needs to use the restroom or will have a procedure done while the IV lines are in place. The pump can be operated in a mechanical manner or electronically.

A syringe pump has the medication or necessary fluid in a syringe that is attached to the pump. A piston is attached that controls the amount of the medication that is dispensed at one time. An elastomeric pump contains fluid in a reservoir that looks like a balloon. The reservoir stretches, and the pressure that is associated with the walls of the reservoir will push fluids into the patient.

Similar to the activity in the intestines, a peristaltic pump features rollers that are on a piece of plastic tubing. The rollers continue to move along the tubing, pushing the fluid into the patient. If the patient needs multiple medications or different types of nutrients, then a multi-channel pump can be used. This is a pump that has more than one reservoir to hold the fluids that the patient needs instead of only one. It’s an option for patients who need multiple antibiotics or medications for severe illnesses or intense treatments, such as cancer patients. There is also a smart pump that has more features on it that will alert medical staff to a reaction with any other medications that the patient is taking.

Purposes for Pumps

As with the different types of pumps, there are also various purposes that the pumps have for the body. Some of the IV lines might be placed in the arm of the patient while others could be put in the leg or the stomach depending on where the fluids are needed most. If fluids are needed in the digestive tract, then an enteral pump will often be used to deliver the fluids directly to the stomach instead of allowing them to travel through the other body systems first.

Someone who is in pain and needs medications will often have a patient-controlled analgesia pump in place. This kind of pump allows the patient to control the amount of pain medication received at one time and when needed. The pump is often used for patients who have had surgery or those who have chronic pain. An insulin pump is used to deliver insulin to patients who need better control of this fluid in the body instead of relying on self-administration of insulin from a syringe each day.

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