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Enhanced failure mode detection in medical infusion by a flow sensor

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000240489D
Publication Date: 2015-Feb-03
Document File: 3 page(s) / 246K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Dr. Niculin Saratz: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Applications of a flow sensor in infusion therapies are disclosed. A flow sensor in the infusion line can be used to precisely measure the amount of fluid administered to the patient and to confirm that the infusion line is connected to the patient’s vein.

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Enhanced failure mode detection in medical infusion by a flow sensor Abstract

Applications of a flow sensor in infusion therapies are disclosed. A flow sensor in the infusion line can be used to precisely measure the amount of fluid administered to the patient and to confirm that the infusion line is connected to the patient's vein.

Background

In today's intravenous infusion systems a series of sensors is installed to detect failure modes in the fluid administration. However, today it is not possible to confirm that the delivered fluid actually reaches the patient's body or in particular the patient's vein. The following two failure modes shall illustrate this problem:

A) In a standard intravenous infusion, the connection between the intra-venous cannula and the infusion line may detach, with the consequence that blood drains out of the patient and the liquid administered by the pump does not reach the patient.

B) In infusion of strong drugs as used e.g. in chemotherapy, the drug administered to the patient may cause damages to body tissue if the drug does not reach the vein but the surrounding tissue.

Due to the lack of an automatic detection method for the above failure modes, today manual supervision by a care person is required to detect interrupted infusion lines or incorrectly placed infusion cannulas.

Additional benefit is provided by the flow sensor in case of an occlusion in the infusion line. While today's infusion pumps can only indirectly detect an occlusion by a pressure increase in the infusion line, the flow sensor will immediately and directly detect the absence or reduction of flow due to the occlusion. Therefore, a flow sensor can raise an alarm within a few seconds, while it may take several minutes until the pressure in the infusion line reaches a high enough level to be detected by the pressure sensor. This is especially critical in the case of very low flow rates as they are typical for example in treatments of babies and children.

System description

Integrating a liquid flow sensor into an infusion line provides a solution the above mentioned use cases. Such a liquid flow sensor may be placed in different locations along the infusion fluid path, see Fig. 1:

1) The flow sensor may be directly integrated into the cannula and measure the flow at a position as close to the patient's body as possible.

2) The flow sensor may be placed in the infusion line between cannula and pump or infusion bag. The flow sensor may be a discrete component with suitable liquid fittings (e.g. Luer lock), or it may be directly an integral part of the infusion line.


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3) The flow sensor may be part of the infusion line and be loaded directly into the infusion pump. In this way, direct communication can be established between the pump and the sensor, either via direct electrical contacts or via wireless near-field communication.

While Fig. 1 shows the...