If you have ever wondered what those machines that are next to IV drips in a hospital are, they are infusion pumps. The correct name for them is PCA pump. These pumps are commonly used to store different types of pain medicines that are given to patients through an IV drip. If you happen to work in a hospital this article is for you because you’ll learn exactly how to set a PCA pump up.
Setting a PCA pump up
There are many steps involved in setting these pumps up. This is because they often deliver powerful medicines. PCA pumps have to deliver the right doses of medicines at the right time. Failure to do so could result in overdose, extreme illness, and even death.
Note: these steps work for the Alaris PCA Pump Module.
Use the IUI connectors to attach the unit to the Alaris 8015 PCU.
The unit comes with a key. You have to use this to preload the syringe with medicines when giving the IV drip to a patient. This acts as a safety feature because it prevents the wrong types and dosages of medicine from accidentally being loaded into the machine and pumped out by the pump.
Be sure to preprogram the unit with a drug library. The techs and nurses who work with this pump can refer to the library whenever they are in doubt.
Turn the PCU on. You’ll be asked to follow a set of commands and prompts in regards to the proper dosage to give to the patient. Be sure to follow these exactly and in sequence.
Program the infusion mechanism on the pump. This will immediately appear once you’ve followed the commands and prompts. If you follow them correctly, you’ll be programming the right dosages and types of medicines for the patient.
Activate the dosage request cord. This will keep the patient from accidentally or intentionally programming a pump to infuse another type and dosage of medicine until a certain amount of time has lapsed. This keeps patients from accidentally poisoning or killing themselves on medicines.
Refer to the medicine history chart. The pump will record the amount, frequency, and timing of medicines given to a particular patient in the medicine history chart. You need to refer to this whenever you are setting up a PCA pump. This can prevent accidental deaths and malpractice lawsuits.
Setting a PCA pump is involved
It’s true that you need to have special training to set a PCA pump up properly, but you don’t need to understand rocket science or be as bright as Albert Einstein to set one of these pumps up. With a little bit of research and training, you will find yourself and expert in terms of setting a PCA pump up.