MR infusion pump keeps patients connected to critical medications

January 22, 2003

Compatibility prevents artifacts, maintains flowCritical care patients undergoing MR scans are often easy to spot. The pump that infuses IV medications typically stands outside the imaging suite, connected to the patient by enough

Compatibility prevents artifacts, maintains flow

Critical care patients undergoing MR scans are often easy to spot. The pump that infuses IV medications typically stands outside the imaging suite, connected to the patient by enough tubing--30 feet or so--to keep the pump well beyond the magnetic field. Getting too close runs the risk of turning the pump into a projectile or, at least, impairing the flow of medication due to a dysfunctional motor and casting artifacts into images. These problems are solved for the users of Medrad's new Continuum.

The MR-compatible infusion system, introduced at the RSNA meeting, is the first such system designed to provide continuous infusion therapy, according to the company, which is based in Indianola, PA. The dual-pump system, which sells for about $25,000, delivers different medications into a single line. It features automatic free-flow protection and needs minimal priming. The pump is rated for field strengths up to 1.5T.

"We are emphasizing the ease of switching the patient from the existing bedside infusion pump to this pump," said Richard W. Dewit, product manager for Medrad's MR infusion systems.

Previously, the simple solution was to wait until patients were stable enough to suspend treatment long enough for a scan. Otherwise, technologists would have to string enough tubing to get the pump well outside the range of the magnet. Continuum makes both approaches unnecessary.

Following FDA clearance in November 2002 and its formal launch in Chicago in early December, the pump has been the focus of a Medrad marketing campaign aimed at radiology, as well as critical care and anesthesiology departments across the U.S.

Continuum is the latest addition to the company's portfolio of MR accessories. It also produces the Spectris injection system for contrast media, coils, a vital signs patient monitor, and a sound system designed for patients undergoing scans.