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A Brief History of Infusion Pumps

A Brief History of Infusion Pumps

The major advancements made in the field of medicine are in the shape of intravenous inventions. In the beginning, the infusion was used for only the purpose of blood transfusion.

With development and research IV lines became the ultimate choice to feed, medicate, and transfusion of blood to the people in critical need of blood. It’s the safest way to inject anything into the circulatory system.

People have been trying different methods to heal from the beginning of time. The first attempt at infusion was made in the 15th century. These experiments were unfortunately lethal and were doing more bad than good.

But they paved the way for the vacuum bottle infusion that later turned into infusion pumps and with more advancements gave us Baxter’s sigma spectrum infusion pump in the 21st century.

Then in 1658, Sir Christopher Wren completed the first successful blood transfusion. He used a device made from a pig’s bladder and a writing quill, it wasn’t very durable but it worked. It allowed him to pump outside substances into the bloodstream of a dog. 

Some of the experiments in this field raised a lot of warning flags. So, the British, the French, and the Vatican banned the infusion experiments and research.

This ban lasted for a century. Then in the 17th century, some key elements were declared that are still being used. These key elements included slow infusion, awareness, prevention from air embolism, and volume overload.

Two world wars spurred advancements in the medical equipments field. Up, until the mid-20th-century, vacuum glass bottles were used then plastic rolled over. Strangely, nurses were allowed to use IV in 1940, now typically nurses administer IV therapy for the patient.

In 1960, Dr. John Mayers started injecting people with what he called “Cocktail” a formula that died with him. But doctors devised a similar formula of minerals and vitamins for the patients.

In 1970, Dean Karen introduced the first infusion pump for his doctor brother who kept complaining about the continuous monitoring.

In 1980, CADD (Computerized Ambulatory Drug Delivery System) pump was introduced. These pumps were single therapy so they did not allow different infusions.

This problem solved by multiple infusion pumps but they were heavy and larger in size. In 1990, a German pump was introduced in the market.

It was a small, lightweight, and accurate piston-driven pump that was much smaller than the competing pumps of the time, and it offered PC communications for the first time. 

The 21st century is the age of smart devices. So, in the 2000s, smart infusion pumps were introduced in the market.

Smart Pump features important in the research setting include: Pump History Downloads, Medication Error Alerts, Remote Programming, Software Interface, and Patient Identifiers. 

One of the latest models of infusion pumps is Baxter’s Sigma Spectrum Infusion Pump. The SIGMA Spectrum Infusion System not only offers Dose Error Reduction Software (DERS) like other smart pumps but also provides unique Generation 2 safety features, which can avert errors that DERS alone would miss.

This includes single-step titration error prevention, check the flow at the start of the infusion, and secondary infusion container check. 

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