Infusion pumps are devices that are used to
deliver therapeutic fluids which can be either medication or nutrients at a predetermined rate. Over the years there has been lot of research on these pumps resulting in several varieties of pumps giving more and more
control on the volume and time of fluid to be delivered. The most common used method of delivering these fluids is intravenous, but in
particular requirements therapist might prefer epidural or subcutaneous. There are
various types of infusion pump designed with a view to serve different purpose of therapy but it is important that the pumps selected can deliver the fluids at desired rate and volume. Overall they can be divided in
two sub-groups i.e.
electronically operated infusion device and
Gravity operated infusion device. Electronic operated infusion device has a microchip that controls the delivery of fluid while gravity controlled device have regulator that operates as clamp to vary the flow rate.
Syringe Pump: Syringe pumps can deliver drugs even in very small doses, 0.1ml per hour to 200 ml per hour. These pumps have a smooth delivery over the entire period. Some syringe pumps accuracy might appear in terms of displacement of piston. These pumps will deliver the determined dose over the time, but the rate of flow might not be smooth.
Advanced Multi-channel Pumps: Often in critical care; a therapist might fell the need of delivering more than one drug to the patient and a desired flow rate. These multi-channel pumps have an advantage of administering more than one fluid delivery at different flow rates.
Volumetric Pumps: Some manufacturers also describe these pumps as roller pumps. The pump has an advantage to deliver high volume of fluid at precise administered rate where other pumps might have limited or no use at all.
Ambulatory Pumps: Ambulatory pumps are devices that are very small and portable. With recent advancement in medical sciences, there are situations when the care giver has to travel to deliver medication and hence they need a light and portable device for drug delivery.
Gravity controlled Pump: A common simple pump mostly seen during delivery of IV fluids. The flow rate can be varied by a regulator clamp but a very precise control is not possible in this device. It is very cheap and used in situation where an approximate control over flow is needed and not recommended for situation requiring an exact flow rate.