Reblog: Providing IV Medication Safely with Limited Resources

Chidamoyo Hospital is a 100 bed private facility in northern Zimbabwe offering a full range of services, including maternity, pediatrics, orthopedics and outpatient care. They have served a catchment of 35,000 people for over 35 years, building a reputation as an innovative healthcare facility that is raising the bar for patient care. Despite its rural location, patients travel from as far as the capital city of Harare, five hours away, to receive care at the Chidamoyo facility in northern Zimbabwe offering a full range of services, including maternity, pediatrics, orthopedics and outpatient care. They have served a catchment of 35,000 people for over 35 years, building a reputation as an innovative healthcare facility that is raising the bar for patient care. Despite its rural location, patients travel from as far as the capital city of Harare, five hours away, to receive care at the Chidamoyo facility.

Recognized as the first hospital in Zimbabwe to achieve a 100% HIV negative birth rate with HIV+ mothers in 2016, Chidamoyo is a leader for HIV and AIDS care in the country. The hospital is known for paving the way in best practices with a combined focus on patient-centered care, education, and adopting innovative tools to treat patients safely in a challenging setting.

Providing IV Medication Safely with Limited Resources

Many of the procedures done at Chidamoyo include administering medication or fluids to patients – whether it is anesthesia for surgery, oxytocin for pregnant women, quinine to treat pediatric malaria patients, or chemotherapy.

At facilities like Chidamoyo, where medical equipment often only arrives in container shipments from the U.S. 2-3 times a year, challenges with supply chains, power supply and cost means complex medication management technologies like IV infusion pumps are not viable or available solutions.

To ensure patients get the right dose of IV medications and fluids, the team at Chidamoyo uses the DripAssist Infusion Rate Monitor. DripAssist is AA-battery operated, works with any IV set, and is easy for any clinician to learn with less than 5 minutes of training.

The Importance of the Right Dose

  • Anemia is especially common for pediatric patients with HIV and malaria. Giving the correct volume of blood is critical for pediatric patients, since overdosing can lead to serious complications like congestive heart failure.
  • Quinine treatments for malaria need to be given over 4 hours – administering too quickly can result in kidney failure, and longer infusions are less effective due to medication dilution.
  • For diabetic patients, insulin needs to be given at precise rates. Whether for new patients or those coming in with a diabetic emergency, a “sliding scale IV” needs to be set up at specific drops per minute each time.

The busy staff at Chidamoyo count on the right innovations to make their work easier. DripAssist gives them confidence and security that patient infusions are occurring at the right rate, even when managing IV drips becomes challenging for reasons out of the staff’s control. “The kind of IV sets we have here aren’t the best, so they tend to move from time to time. And sometimes we have problems with the patient or family playing around with the drip set. They just open it up!” With DripAssist, clinicians don’t need to be concerned because the DripAssist alarm provides reliable, constant monitoring.

The right tools improve both patient care and clinician workload. DripAssist does the job at Chidamoyo.

The original article can be found here.

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