With proper education, weighing Baxter Infusors at home with kitchen scales can be an accepted and objective alternative to the current recommendation of visual inspection” Cusano et al (2017).
Purpose: Elastomeric pumps are used to administer 46-hour infusions of 5-fluorouracil (5FU). Baxter suggests patients visually monitor their pumps to ensure that infusions are proceeding correctly. This can be confusing and lead to concerns about under- or over-dosing. Baxter has not considered weighing pumps as a validated method for monitoring. This study aims to validate weighing as a more accurate method for patients and healthcare professionals, and describe real life Baxter Infusor™ variability.
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Methods: Patients who had been started on a 46-hour 5FU infusion returned to the clinic approximately 24 h after starting treatment. The pump was weighed on a StarFrit kitchen scale, and date, time, and weights recorded. Patients were asked if they had a preference for weighing or visually inspecting their pump.
Results: Pumps ( n = 103) were weighed between 17.25 and 27.5 h after connection. The average weight of a pump was 189 g. Of 103 pumps weighed, 99 weighed less than expected, corresponding to average flow rates of 5.69 mL/h over the elapsed time. The expected flow rate is 5 mL/h with 10% variability. Average flow rates within the 17.25- to 27.5-hour window were 4.561 mL/h, which is 8.78% slower than expected, but within the 10% known variability. Forty-seven percent of patients didn’t have a preference for either method, but for those who did have a preference, more than twice as many preferred weighing.
Conclusion: With proper education, weighing Baxter Infusors at home with kitchen scales can be an accepted and objective alternative to the current recommendation of visual inspection.
Cusano, E.L., Ali, R., Sawyer, M.B., Chambers, C.R. and Tang, P.A. (2017) Baxter elastomeric pumps: Weighing as an alternative to visual inspection. Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice. January 1st. .
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