Fluctuations in syringe-pump infusions: association with blood pressure variations in infants.


Flow continuity of two brands of syringe pumps and four brands of syringes was studied as a possible cause of hemodynamic fluctuations observed in neonates. Cyclical fluctuations were observed in the blood pressure of 14 neonates receiving dopamine infusions by syringe pump at flow rates from 0.2 to 1 mL/hr. Atom 235 and IVAC 770 pumps and various sizes of Terumo, Becton Dickinson, Omnifix, and IVAC syringes were evaluated. Flow continuity was assessed by using a gravimetric technique. The force needed to initiate and maintain syringe plunger motion was also measured. Noncontinuous flow was encountered most commonly with Terumo syringes, which delivered boluses at regular intervals at flow rates up to 5 mL/hr. The interval was dependent on flow rate and was similar to the time between the blood pressure fluctuations observed clinically. The syringe plunger force exhibited regular fluctuations indicative of the plunger sticking, and simultaneous measurement of flow established a direct temporal relationship with boluses. The other syringes tested did not exhibit such fluctuations. No differences were found between the two syringe pumps. Syringe plunger sticking, resulting in intermittent boluses and potential blood pressure fluctuations, may occur at low flow rates and with certain syringe brands. This appeared to be the cause of hemodynamic fluctuations in neonates receiving dopamine infusions.


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@article{Capes1995FluctuationsIS, title={Fluctuations in syringe-pump infusions: association with blood pressure variations in infants.}, author={D F Capes and Kimble Robert Dunster and Vivian Bruce Sunderland and Dayton McMillan and Paul B. Colditz and Christian McDonald}, journal={American journal of health-system pharmacy : AJHP : official journal of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists}, year={1995}, volume={52 15}, pages={1646-53} }