Early detection of infusion line infiltration, a study of design solutions

Rights statement
Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 2012
Thesis identifier
  • T13248
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • Infusion pump systems are commonly used in medical practice to control the delivery of medications intravenously. The functionality and precision of these systems are paramount in ensuring patient safety and well being. Malfunctioning systems alter the amount of medication delivered to the patient resulting in over or under dosing. Despite the dangers posed to patients by malfunctioning infusion pump systems several hundred incidents of malfunction are reported to the MHRA every year. It has been speculated that a significant number of these incidents are due to line disengagement at or below the level of the coupling leading to the IV needle. Currently there is no system in place for monitoring the disengagement of the coupling mechanisms or infiltration of the medication. This lack of monitoring poses a danger to patients whereby a disengaged line will divert medication and will only be corrected when the decrease in dosage is evidenced (MHRA 2010). A solution to the disengagement of infusion pump lines close to the level of infusion must be found to address this potentially harmful situation. The workings of several prominent brands of infusion pumps were studied, as were the luer lock system most commonly used to secure the IV needle to the infusion line. Several possible solutions were investigated. Inline pressure monitoring has been proposed as a possible means of early detection of infiltration of line disengagement. At the instance of infiltration, a drop in infusion line pressure occurs that is equal in magnitude to the venous pressure at the infusion site through in vitro testing. Ease of use, efficacy, integration with current systems and potential for widespread adoption in clinical use will be used as measures for the plausibility and success of the proposed solution.
Resource Type
Date Created
  • 2012
Former identifier
  • 948097