Continuity of Flow describes a pump’s ability to maintain accurate delivery of fluid boluses at precise time intervals throughout the entire infusion duration. Peristaltic infusion pumps use a series of small motor rotations to deliver fluid. Peristaltic pump motors are not constantly active during an infusion, but instead rotate in small, periodic rotations. The flow rate is controlled by changing the frequency of motor rotations. Pumps with a high Continuity of Flow are able to maintain evenly spaced boluses of fluid throughout the entire infusion therapy, regardless of flow rate. Conversely, pumps with a low Continuity of Flow are unable to reliably deliver evenly timed boluses of fluid, leading to longer periods of no-flow.
A hypothetical situation is illustrated below showing two pumps with different Continuity of Flow profiles. Pumps with poor Continuity of Flow (such as Pump A) may deliver boluses of fluid at prolonged time intervals, possibly leaving long periods of no-flow. Pumps with better Continuity of Flow (such as Pump B) are able to maintain reliable and predictable timing of bolus delivery throughout the infusion duration.
According to the Emergency Care Research Institute (ECRI), a no-flow period of 20-seconds or less maintains adequate drug levels and vessel patency. Pumps with higher Continuity of Flow ensure that this threshold is met by delivering boluses extremely close in time for more continuous fluid delivery. Such precise and steady medication transport to the patient ensures proper pain management, and increases the clinical efficacy of the drug.
Benchtop testing indicates that the CURLIN Ambulatory Infusion Pump is able to deliver an extremely high Resolution and Continuity of Flow, even at low infusion rates. At an infusion rate of 0.1 mL/hr, the CURLIN pump delivers 50 micro-boluses per hour (500 b/mL) compared to the 2 boluses per hour with competitive infusion pumps (20 b/mL). This translates to 1 micro-bolus every 1.2 minutes with the CURLIN pump, compared to 1 bolus per 30 minutes with competitive pumps. Fewer and smaller gaps between boluses while delivering the same amount of total fluid means the CURLIN pump delivers precise micro-boluses more accurately and more evenly throughout the infusion.
CURLIN pump delivering fluid at 0.1 mL per hour with zero head-height – calculated average: 0.1011 mL per hour
The highly efficient delivery is ideal for short half-life drugs at low flow rates, any drug delivered at a low infusion rate, and for sensitive patient populations.
CURLIN infusion pumps are rooted in decades of proven curvilinear peristaltic pump technology, driven by clinical and market needs. These pumps have been carefully engineered to maintain maximum therapeutic efficacy while meeting today’s toughest safety standards, making them an ideal infusion pump for today’s home infusion market.
An infographic describing Continuity of Flow in more detail is shown below.
Why Your Choice of Infusion Pump Matters to Patient Outcomes
Understanding How Different Infusion Pump Technologies Impact Flow Accuracy, Resolution, and Continuity
A recently published whitepaper describes how different infusion pump technologies operate, and why Resolution and Continuity of Flow are important factors when choosing an infusion pump. If you are interested in learning more, please click the button below.