The EMRP project MeDD showed that the accuracy of drug delivery devices is critical to patient safety. Commercial devices can detect issues such as blockages in intravenous tubes, but more accurate and precise measurements of fluid path pressure are needed. It’s recognised that IEC standards need revising, plus new flow rate measurement technologies are needed to improve dosing accuracy and for traceable measurements of volume, flow and pressure; both for existing drug delivery devices and inline sensors operating at very low flow rates.
The project will develop calibration methods to enable traceable flow rate measurements. It will also investigate fast-changing flow rates; the physical properties of mixtures of liquids and occlusion (blockage) phenomena in multi-infusion devices (that administer more than one substance directly into the veins of patients over one access point); and expand the metrological infrastructure. A better understanding of the causes of dosage errors will lead to increased accuracy and fewer errors. Lives will be saved by uptake of traceable calibrations of both low and ultra-low flow infusion devices, especially for multi-infusion systems.