Understanding Infusion Pumps

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Abstract

Infusion systems are complicated electromechanical systems that are used to deliver anesthetic drugs with moderate precision. Four types of systems are described—gravity feed, in-line piston, peristaltic, and syringe. These systems are subject to a number of failure modes—occlusion, disconnection, siphoning, infiltration, and air bubbles. The relative advantages of the various systems and some of the monitoring capabilities are discussed. A brief example of the use of an infusion system during anesthetic induction is presented. With understanding of the functioning of these systems, users may develop greater comfort.

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