News & Innovation

Three reasons to choose a validated BD Plastipak™ syringe for use with infusion pumps

July 6, 2021

Did you know that choosing a syringe that hasn’t been validated for use with your infusion pump can put your patients at risk? 1

Risks include inaccurate fluid delivery and flow rate issues, potentially leading to serious consequences. 1

Selecting the right syringe requires careful consideration because:

  • Not all syringes are validated for use on all infusion pumps
  • Not all infusion pumps can automatically recognize syringe brands and their specific product codes

BD Plastipak™ validated syringes have been tested by most pump manufacturers and demonstrated to meet IEC 60601-2-24 international standards for accuracy, flow rates, safety and efficacy.2

Three reasons your syringe choice is so important:

1.Your syringe choice can impact flow rate and dose accuracy1

Non-validated syringes can cause improper pump operation resulting in inaccurate fluid delivery, occlusion (blockage), and other potential problems. 1

Furthermore, lack of flow continuity can have serious consequences, including: 

  • Delay of therapy1
  • Over-infusion or under-infusion1
  • Abnormal or unstable blood pressure1
  • Anxiety from loss of sedation1
  • Increased pain in critically ill infants1

In fact, one study found that the use of non-validated syringes resulted in drug dosage errors of up to 24% over-delivery and 10% under-delivery.3

2.Choosing a validated syringe can help minimise false infusion pump alarms1

Many alarms, whether actionable or false, will stop the infusion or prevent it from starting until a clinician intervenes.4

For critical short half-life medications any infusion interruption of this nature can have potentially catastrophic hemodynamic consequences.5

For example, the plasma half-life of dopamine is 1 – 2 minutes. For Dobutamine it’s 2 minutes. An interruption to infusion of either of these drugs could lead to hemodynamic instability and hypotension. Cardiac shock is also a risk in Dobutamine infusion interruptions.5

To put this into context, one study found that the average infusion alarm resolution time was greater than 1 minute for 17% of alarms and greater than 4 minutes for 3% of alarms.6

An overload of false alarms may also result in desensitizing clinicians to all alarms, potentially affecting response times to those that require action.4

Minimising false infusion pump alarms is an important part of reducing the risk of infusion interruptions and their potential consequences.

3.The right syringe can reduce risk and prioritise patient safety

Actions you can take to keep your patients safe throughout their infusion:

  1. Ensure syringe sizes and product codes are validated by the syringe pump manufacturer
  2. Choose the smallest compatible syringe size necessary to deliver fluid or medication
  3. Choose a syringe featuring a luer lock design to help prevent disconnection

To keep patients safe throughout their infusion, it’s critical and safer to choose an appropriately sized syringe that has been tested and validated by the pump manufacturers. 



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1 U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Syringe pump problems with fluid flow continuity at low infusion rates can result in serious clinical consequences: FDA safety communication. Accessed on March 9, 2021, at: 2

2 Medfusion Syringe Pump Model 3500 Operator’s manual Software Version 6. Smiths medical

3 To o ke L J , Howell L. Syringe drivers: incorrect selection of syringe type from the syringe menu may result in significant errors in drug delivery. Anaesth Intensive Care. 2014 Jul;42(4):467-72. doi: 10.1177/0310057X1404200407. PMID: 24967761.

4 Glover KR, Vitoux RR, Schuster C, Curtin CR. Types and Frequency of Infusion Pump Alarms: Protocol for a Retrospective Data Analysis. JMIR Res Protoc. 2018;7(6):e10446. Published 2018 Jun 14. doi:10.2196/10446.

5 Waterson J, Bedner A. Types and Frequency of Infusion Pump Alarms and Infusion-Interruption to Infusion-Recovery Times for Critical Short Half-Life Infusiotypens: Retrospective Data Analysis. JMIR Hum Factors. 2019;6(3):e14123. Published 2019 Aug 12. doi:10.2196/14123.

6 Yu D, Hsu K-Y, Kim JH, DeLaurentis P. Infusion pump informatics approach to quantify impact of alerts and alarms on healthcare delivery. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting. 2017;61(1):681-685. doi:10.1177/1541931213601657

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Approved number: BD-30542