Next COVID-19 device shortage? ‘Smart’ infusion pumps
April 27, 2020
Featured in Medical Design & Outsourcing by Nancy Crotti, April 27, 2020
Severely ill COVID-19 patients may need multiple medications delivered by infusion pumps. Manufacturers and hospitals are planning on how to avoid shortages of these pumps and the associated tubing.
You’ve likely seen the videos of ICU hallways lined with medical devices that would normally be in patient rooms.
Among them are machines that are ubiquitous throughout any hospital — “smart” infusion pumps that are programmed to deliver controlled doses of medication. The effects of COVID-19 on patients’ organs heighten the need for these pumps — made by companies including Becton Dickinson (NYSE:BDX), B. Braun, Baxter (NYSE:BAX), ICU Medical (NSDQ:ICUI) and Ivenix.
The pumps’ medication administration sets and the extended tubing allow them to operate in hallways to reduce nurses’ exposure to COVID-19. Some patients even need multiple pumps.
‘The rules were thrown out a while ago’
Reports of pump shortages began popping up on nurses’ listservs in March as the volume of critically ill COVID-19 patients began to increase, according to the ECRI Institute and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP). In acute-care settings, these smart pumps deliver vasopressors, antiarrhythmic agents, opioids, anesthetic agents, neuromuscular blocking agents, antithrombotics, and insulin, many of which COVID-19 patients need.