Better flow measurement, safer patients - Measurement for Health Case Study

World Health Day 2018 - #HealthForAll

Low flow-rate drug delivery is required for diabetics, neonates, palliative care and patients in intensive care or undergoing anaesthesia. The drugs must be delivered continuously overmany hours, and often the amounts prescribed are the maximum that can safely be given. Infusion systems rely on pumps that must be both reliable and accurate.

The EMRP project 'Metrology for Drug Delivery' project has developed low flow rate calibration facilities which can now deliver improved traceability for the extremely low flow rates required by hospitals for drug infusions - a reduction in the lowest traceable flow rate achievable by one thousand times.

The project also investigated the effects of using various disposables and pump combinations on flow rates. It was found that interchanging infusion line disposables could significantly change the (transient) flow rate and should be avoided in the interests of delivering effective and safe infusion line treatments.

The case study shows how the project supported the Garcia de Orta hospital in Portugal to be one of the first to benefit from using a new calibration service. The hospital's master calibration meter, used to check the performance of all the infusion line systems used in the hospital, underwent the first calibration for low flow to be performed in Portugal.

As a result of the project's newly introduced European facilities for calibrating hospital meters routinely used for drug infusion systems, clinical staff can have greater confidence in being able to precisely administer vital lifesaving drugs to the most vulnerable of patients.

Read the full two-page 'Better flow measurement, safer patients' case study

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