The COVID-19 pandemic has stretched hospitals to capacity with highly contagious patients. Acute care hospitals around the world have needed to develop ways to conserve dwindling supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) while front-line clinicians struggle to reduce risk of exposure. By placing intravenous smart pumps (IVSP) outside patient rooms, nurses can more quickly attend to alarms, rate adjustments and bag changes with reduced personal risk and without the delay of donning necessary PPE to enter the room. The lengthy tubing required to place IVSP outside of patient rooms comes with important clinical implications which increase the risk to patient safety for the already error-prone intravenous medication administration process. This article focuses on the implications of increasing medication dead volume as intravenous tubing lengths increase. The use of extended intravenous tubing will lead to higher medication volumes held in the tubing which comes with significant safety implications related to unintended alterations in drug delivery. Safe intravenous medication administration is a collaborative responsibility across the team of nurses, pharmacists and ordering providers. This article discusses the importance and safety implications for each role when dead volume is increased due to IVSP placement outside of patient rooms during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- biomedical engineering
- critical care
Data availability statement
No data are available.
This article is made freely available for use in accordance with BMJ’s website terms and conditions for the duration of the covid-19 pandemic or until otherwise determined by BMJ. You may use, download and print the article for any lawful, non-commercial purpose (including text and data mining) provided that all copyright notices and trade marks are retained.https://bmj.com/coronavirus/usage
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Contributors JWCB conceptualised the manuscript, wrote draft 1 of the manuscript and figures and table and coordinated all other author feedback and revision. KKG contributed significantly to drafting all aspects of the manuscript including content development and editing. RDB, TV and NMS contributed significantly to important intellectual content and revision of the manuscript in its entirety.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests As a consultant in medical product development, KKG has performed consulting services for numerous medical device companies. RDB has been employed by an infusion pump manufacturer and is currently a paid consultant for several infusion pump manufacturers. TV has consulted for several infusion pump manufacturers.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.