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DripAssist - A New, Simple Tool to Enhance the Age-Old Practice of Gravity Infusion

Infusion pumps are commonplace in US hospitals, but there are still many clinical settings worldwide where IV medications and fluids are administered via gravity infusion with a roller clamp or flow controller.

That means that pregnant women get magnesium sulfate and oxytocin drips without a pump, pediatric patients receive unmonitored fluids, and chemotherapy drugs are administered by counting drops. Imagine working with multiple simultaneous infusions, or in high-risk situations such as pediatric care, with nothing but a watch and a roller clamp to ensure accurate medication management.

While gravity infusions seem relatively simple, they are surprisingly complex and dynamic systems, and giving medication via gravity risks a range of side effects and can compromise patient safety. Counting drops to set a gravity infusion is not only time consuming and tedious; research has shown that 4 out of 5 gravity infusions are off by 20% or more from their intended dosage. And without frequent checks, it’s difficult for any nurse to know when factors such as patient position, occlusions or tubing set “creep” affect the intended drip rate.

The award-winning DripAssist Infusion Rate Monitor is a tool that was created to make gravity-fed infusions more reliable, accurate, and efficient. It’s a simple handheld device that was developed to help all nurses, in any country, precisely and affordably manage IV infusions. DripAssist quickly attaches to any gravity IV drip set to continuously watch flow rate and volume during fluid and medication administration.

DripAssist takes all the counting and calculating out of IV infusions. It has an infrared eye that automatically counts and calculates a drip rate as you adjust the roller clamp for any gravity infusion. Once rate is set, DripAssist continuously monitors the drip rate or and total volume throughout the infusion, which you can easily check by glancing at the screen. If rate changes for any reason, you can be alerted with an optional audiovisual alarm.

How Can DripAssist Help Nurses and Patients?

DripAssist is an FDA-cleared developed for clinical settings where infusion pumps may not be an efficient option, or where a portable and lightweight IV monitor is needed. DripAssist takes less than five minutes to learn, uses one AA battery and works instantly with any tubing set.

DripAssist at a US Hospital-Based Outpatient Infusion Center
Even in the US, plenty of nurses struggle with heavy patient loads and limited resources. At EC Green Cancer Center in Kentucky, nurses use DripAssist to ensure patient safety and better manage their workloads. Knowing the precise drip rate and total volume infused with a quick glance for every infusion allows nursing staff to easily plan for and communicate when a patient’s infusion will be complete.

“For 30 to 90 minute infusions, the cost and setup time of using a pump just isn’t efficient for us,” states Melissa Cramer, RN at EC Green.

DripAssist for Safer Labor and Delivery in Haiti
For clinics that don’t have pumps at every bedside, critical medications are often delivered via gravity. For nurses whose training didn’t include extensive background in calculating gravity rates, a tool like DripAssist makes it feasible for patients to receive critical medications such as oxytocin and magnesium sulfate at the correct dosage.

“As a center where we do deliveries and we don’t have a large staff, DripAssist will be very useful to ensure that patients are receiving the correct dose that we decide to give. This device will be as another staff member who will never sleep and always be present.” – Dr. Edouard Bordes, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

You can learn more about DripAssist and purchase units for your clinical setting at www.shiftlabs.com

Posted: 3/7/2017 6:58:38 AM
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