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Infusion pumps are commonplace in today’s healthcare settings and their design and development has kept pace with technology over the decades. In the 1970s and 1980s infusion pumps began to emerge in the UK market and were basic, mechanical devices with limited functions. Today, infusion pumps have a plethora of functions and features and a range of alarms to help alert the user and the patient that infusions are nearing completion, have ended or their range of sensors has detected that the infusion pump, or patient, requires attention. The role of the nurse in safely managing this ever-changing technology should not be underestimated.

This paper reviews the progress made over the past 40 years in the UK healthcare setting and how the nurses have had to keep up to speed with the technology as it develops. It highlights the importance of fully integrating infusion pumps into intravenous (IV) therapy training and assessment. The important role the nurse plays is highlighted as well as exploring how he or she can help organisations better understand infusion pumps in the day-to-day management of patients undergoing intravenous therapy.


Lee, P. (2015) Infusion pump development and implications for nurses. British Journal of Nursing. 24(Sup19), p.S30–S37.

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