Infusion pumps are one of the most widely used medical devices in the different areas of a modern hospital. Precisely by this reason, they are not exempt from errors during their use. In a hospital usually coexist different models of pumps, often from different manufacturers, which makes it difficult for the health personnel to learn how to handle them correctly.

In a case study published by SENSAR (Spanish Safety Reporting System in Anesthesia and Resuscitation), a programming error of a TCI (Target Controlled Infusion) pump is documented during an aortic valve replacement procedure. In this surgical procedure the anaesthetist started a remifentanil infusion using a previously programmed TCI pump using a specific Minto TCI  model for this drug. However, the pump gave an error at the beginning of the infusion and had to be quickly replaced by another one which was  re-programmed to initiate the infusion without delay, before that the interruption of the analgesic drug infusion may have any effect on the patient, already submitted to surgical stimulation. During the surgery, the patient showed signs of hypotension problems that made the anesthetist suspect that a programing error may have occurred. After reviewing the TCI pump, they found that it had been programmed incorrectly for an infusion TCI protocol with propofol instead of remifentanil.

In their publication, SENSAR recalls that there are other documented cases of programming errors, and emphasizes a fundamental aspect: the interface that the professional has to use to select the appropriate infusion model in the pump. Literally, the report says that “The little amount of progress that has been made in the user interface of TCI pumps since the first devices appeared is shocking. These devices often have reduced, monochrome screens, in which the information is displayed in a variegated or complex way, with small font, and without a mandatory step-by-step verification of the programmed parameters before starting the infusion”.

The arcomed Solution: Simplicity and Advanced Technology

The design of the arcomed pumps is the result of our experience as manufacturers dedicated exclusively to infusion technology since 1974, in addition to our close collaboration with  medical and nursing teams. Being aware of their concern for minimizing errors in medical administration, we also know that the sometimes frenetic work pace in units such a ICUs, operating rooms, delivery rooms or the ER requires infusion devices that are easy to handle and are designed to avoid human error.

The Chroma series by arcomed combines all of these characteristics and constitutes in itself a revolutionized concept of infusion:

First, because of our All-In-OneCONCEPT™, we greatly reduce the number of pump models required in a hospital, with only two needed (one volumetric and one syringe, and they share the same interface and handling philosophy) for the vast majority of applications, including the most complex ones such as TCI, TIVA, PIEB…

In addition, arcomed pumps have a large, high-visibility, color touch screen that displays the name of the drug being used at all times. Its programming is very simple as it works with icons instead of the classic menus.

Lastly, the arcomed pumps have additional safety systems so that the right patient receives the correct drug in the correct dose, at the right time and in the right way. All of this, in combination with the identification of color-coded drugs, the possibility of verification of infusion parameters by reading bar codes and the possibility of centralized control and wireless communication, makes arcomed pumps a world leader in technology that guarantees patient safety and the peace of mind of the personnel caring for them.

SENSAR publication in Spanish): “Erroneous programming of a TCI pump. SENSAR case of the quarter”.