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Blood Transfusions: To use a pump or not to use a pump that is my question!

Hi Nurses, I work at a Veterans Hospital and my coworkers are seeking information, I do not know the answer.

Our policy does not allow infusing blood via a pump but I know other private hospitals do use a pump to transfuse blood.

Could someone tell me the rationale of the pump and blood. Is the pump used or not used to transfuse blood and why.

Special thanks for referenced information.

When I was in clinical

When I was in clinical practice, we did not use an electronic infusion pump for any blood product, however it has become common practice. The reason is that the infusion pump will more accurately control the flow rate and prevent over or under infusion rates. Of course, the use of a pump will increase the costs. So I would first determine if you have a problem with blood being infused too fast or too slow. What is the incidence of a unit of blood not infusing with the 4 hour limit? Has there been incidents of a unit having to be wasted because it did ot completely infuse in the 4 hour period? If so, then a pump may be necessary. Most pumps have language stating that they can be used to infuse blood products, but you must check the instructions for use for the specific brand  of pump being used. Lynn

Lynn Hadaway, M.Ed., RN, BC, CRNI

Lynn Hadaway Associates, Inc.

126 Main Street, PO Box 10

Milner, GA 30257


Office Phone 770-358-7861

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