Syringe Infusion Pump Safety

Course Request

Learning Objectives

  • Clinical consequences
  • Syringe pump mechanics
  • Possible complications

Course Description

Syringe infusion pumps allow for precise delivery of concentrated IV medications at low infusion rates. However, the operation of syringe pumps is not as simple as it appears. Seemingly minor nuances of user technique can have significant clinical consequences, including delays in medication delivery, hemodynamic instability, loss of sedation, and increased pain.

Understanding how syringe pumps work is crucial to understanding how complications occur. In this course, you will learn principles and techniques that will help you deliver the best outcomes for patients.

Did you know…

  • From 2005 through 2009, FDA received approximately 56,000 reports of adverse events associated with the use of infusion pumps, including numerous injuries and deaths
  • According to the 2017 annual ECRI report, infusion pump errors are the number one health technology safety concern to watch out for
  • A new multihospital study calculated that more than half of infusions of IV medications contained errors and the majority of these errors were due to deviations in hospital policy

Course at a Glance

Target Audience: Clinicians

Time to Complete: 30 Minutes

Contributor: Massachusetts General Hospital


Massachusetts General Hospital, Partners Healthcare

Author Information

Course development guided by the expertise of

  • Nathaniel Sims
  • Christopher Colvin