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Br J Nurs. 2016 Oct 27;25(19):S22-S27.

Optimising patient safety when using elastomeric pumps to administer outpatient parenteral antibiotic therapy.

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Nurse Consultant IV care, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust.


Outpatient parenteral antibiotic therapy (OPAT) is a growing area of practice that has numerous benefits for both patients and the healthcare system. In order for OPAT services to be successful, strategies need to be in place to maximise efficiency while providing safe, high-quality care. The use of elastomeric pumps to deliver intravenous (IV) antibiotics can have many benefits for OPAT services; they are cost-effective, easy to use and allow the patient to be fully ambulant. However, plans need to be put in place to make sure their use is safe and effective. This article discusses the use of elastomeric pumps by a UK-based OPAT team and the governance processes the team put in place to optimise patient safety when using elastomeric pumps to deliver IV antibiotics. Furthermore, with experience of using elastomeric pumps for more than 4 years the OPAT team was asked to evaluate an elastomeric pump new to the UK market: the Accufuser pump (Vygon (UK) Limited). By collecting data on its use it was found to be safe and easy to use. The team felt that the Accufuser pump ran to time in 96% of completed evaluations and considered it to be clinically acceptable in all responses.


Efficiency of services; Elastomeric pump; Home care; Outpatient parenteral antibiotic therapy (OPAT); Patient safety

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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