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How physical infusion system parameters cause clinically relevant dose deviations after setpoint changes

Timmerman AM, Snijder RA, Lucas P, Lagerweij MC, Radermacher JH, Konings MK.  “How physical infusion system parameters cause clinically relevant dose deviations after setpoint changes“,  Journal of Biomedical Engineering, 60(4), 2015.

Abstract:
Multi-infusion therapy, in which multiple pumps are connected to one access point, is frequently used in patient treatments. This practice is known to cause dosing errors following setpoint changes in the drug concentrations that actually enter the patients. Within the Metrology for Drug Delivery Project, we analyzed and quantified the two main physical phenomena leading to these errors: the "push-out" effect and the system mechanical compliance. We compared the dosing errors of a three-pump system with two infusion sets, both with and without anti-reflux valves, using in vitro spectrophotometric experiments. Additionally, computer simulations were used to study the compliance effect separately. We found a start-up time of more than 1 h, and a dosing error following a setpoint increase of another pump for the low flow rate pump, corresponding to 0.5 mg noradrenaline delivered in 8 min. We showed that the dead volume inside the tubes and syringe compliance produce opposite deviations from the setpoint values in the actual drug output concentrations, making the net result hard to predict and often counterintuitive. We conclude that metrology on compliance and push-out effects could be used by infusion device manufacturers to successfully improve drug delivery performance and relevant standards for high-risk multi-infusion applications.

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