The FDA has announced a new initiative taking a hard look at safety of infusion pumps. They have recently announced a new initiative collaborating with industry to make infusion pumps safer. The FDA has received 56,000 reports of adverse events related to infusion pumps between 2005 and 2009 and there have been 87 infusion pump recalls, many of which have been for serious safety problems. The main part of this new initiative will be working with manufacturers to improve design and engineering issues that have been identified as problematic. But many problems also occur at the user end. Their website has several excellent resources including examples of infusion pump problems (including software problems, alarm errors, user interface design issues, battery problems, fire risk, etc.) and risk reduction strategies for staff at several levels of your healthcare organizations, including home care nurses and even patients themselves. There’s even a brochure for patients on getting the most out of their pump. This is an excellent resource that every healthcare organization should become familiar with.
Since we had been planning to do another article on infusion pump safety, we used this timely opportunity to do our April 27, 2010 Patient Safety Tip of the Week “Infusion Pump Safety”. See that Tip for our recommendations combined with the FDA recommendations on what you should be doing about infusion pump safety in your organizations.
New FDA initiative on infusion pump safety
FDA infusion pump risk reduction strategies