Buyers’ guide
Ambulatory syringe drivers
December 2008
Introduction ............................................................................................. 3
Technical considerations......................................................................... 6
Operational considerations...................................................................... 9
Economic considerations ...................................................................... 11
Purchasing ............................................................................................ 14
Market review........................................................................................ 19
Acknowledgements ............................................................................... 25
Glossary................................................................................................ 26
References............................................................................................ 27
Appendix 1: Supplier contact details ..................................................... 30
Appendix 2: EU procurement procedure ............................................... 31
Appendix 3: Evaluation protocol............................................................ 34
Author and report information................................................................ 39
CEP08046: December 2008
Continuous subcutaneous drug delivery
Continuous subcutaneous infusion (CSI) is an alternative to intravenous (IV) or
intramuscular infusion that is typically offered when the oral route for medication
delivery no longer works. CSI can also be offered when IV access is difficult to
achieve and when intramuscular injections are painful and distressing. Delivery of
small amounts of concentrated drugs into subcutaneous tissue also provides an
alternative therapy for patients unable to tolerate the large amounts of fluid
associated with IV infusions. Typically, CSI is less expensive than IV infusion and is
associated with a lower incidence of injection site complications [1]. Drugs given via
CSI are usually rapidly absorbed and have a high bioavailability (generally 100%) [2].
CSI can be used to deliver a variety of drugs including heparin, insulin,
bronchodilators, chemotherapy and cytotoxic drugs [3]. However, its main area of
application is in symptom management for cancer patients and palliative care. By
maintaining a stable plasma level of drugs via continuous infusion, appropriate
symptom control can be achieved without the unwanted effects that can result from
episodic drug administration [4].
A variety of infusion devices can, theoretically, be used for CSI. However, standard
IV infusion pumps are generally too large and heavy for comfortable use by
ambulatory patients. They also typically operate at a much higher range of volumes
than is useful for CSI. Small and lightweight ambulatory infusion pumps are more
suitable for CSI, and both electrically and mechanically powered small devices have
been widely adopted [5;6].
UK practice
In the UK, the Smiths Medical (formally Graseby) MS26 and MS16A syringe drivers
are most commonly used to deliver continuous subcutaneous infusions [7].
In palliative care, the use of syringe drivers allows several drugs to be delivered
simultaneously via a single infusion (provided the drugs are compatible). At least 29
different drugs are reported to be in use in palliative care practice in the UK, and
numerous combinations are possible [8]. The most commonly used medication is
diamorphine or morphine, sometimes mixed with midazolam, levomepromazine,
haloperidol or cyclizine,[8], with water as the most common diluent [9]. Sodium
chloride is another widely used diluent, but it can be incompatible with some drug
mixtures [3]. Combinations of three or more drugs have also been reported [9].
In palliative care, the daily dose of drugs is typically prepared in 10 or 20 ml syringes,
and is delivered continuously over 24 hours. The delivery rate, once set up, should
remain fixed until infusion is complete, as changing it would alter the prescribed daily
CEP08046: December 2008
dose. Typically, a new syringe is set up by the carer every 24 hours, and the giving
set changed every three or four days [4].
Smiths Medical MS16A and MS26 syringe drivers can operate with syringes of any
brand or volume that can physically fit the driver. This offers greater flexibility to the
user by not restricting use to a particular syringe type or volume. Syringes up to 35
ml can be used. The use of larger syringes, e.g. 50 - 60 ml, has been reported, but
this is exceptional [4]. The maximum length of fluid within the syringe that can be
infused is restricted to 60 mm, which is approximately equivalent to 25 ml (when
using a 35 ml syringe) [10].
At present, the MS series syringe drivers are regarded as an “essential component of
British palliative care” [7], and local guidelines and policies relating to palliative care
therapy have been established to accommodate the features and functionality of
these devices throughout the UK [8]. Around 150 000 syringe drivers were estimated
to be in use globally, mainly for palliative care applications [4], with around 40 000
devices in the UK, the majority of which are used in primary care.
Although the MS26 and MS16A syringe drivers have proven to be very useful tools in
palliative care, they were designed before the introduction of the IEC 60601-2-24
standard [11], which was developed to ensure the safety of infusion pumps, and do
not comply with it. Although labelling on the two drivers indicates the delivery rate,
they appear very similar, aside from the colour. Confusing MS16A (which delivers in
mm per hour) with MS26 (which delivers in mm per 24 hours) can result in an
infusion rate 24 times higher than required, and numerous adverse incidents of this
type have been reported [3;12;13]. A Hazard Notice issued by MDA (now MHRA)
advises users to ensure that they understand the differences between the two drivers
in order to minimize the risk of confusing them [12]. At present, many palliative care
services adopt the use of one type of syringe driver only (typically MS26) in order to
minimise this risk.
Currently, there are safer alternatives to the MS26/MS16A drivers on the UK market;
two of which comply with IEC 60601-2-24. Adopting safer syringe drivers would
require modification of established working protocols and practices in UK palliative
care, and a significant amount of re-training for staff. A clear indication of the benefits
of such an approach is needed to make the case for change [14].
National guidance
Australia and New Zealand have national initiatives to replace the MS series drivers,
but there is no similar central initiative in the UK. The MHRA has issued general
guidance on infusion devices [15], which includes recommendations on the safety
features expected in infusion pumps. None of these features is offered by the
CEP08046: December 2008
MS26/MS16A syringe drivers. The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) has also
published guidance on the safe administration of drugs in the NHS [16].
This buyers’ guide compares all ambulatory syringe drivers currently available in the
UK market, and includes the results of a usability assessment and a user survey.
Technical, operational, economic and purchasing considerations are also discussed.
CEP08046: December 2008
Technical considerations
Features of syringe drivers
Ambulatory syringe drivers (also known as syringe pumps) are small, batterypowered medical infusion devices which allow continuous fluid delivery from a
syringe at a programmed rate. They are designed to deliver the therapy with minimal
disruption to a patient’s daily life and activities, and therefore are required to be small
and lightweight. Most syringe drivers are designed to deliver infusions from any
brand of syringe with a volume of 2 - 30 ml. However, some devices require the
larger syringes (20 - 30 ml) to be under-filled to allow delivery. Larger volume
syringes (50 - 60 ml) can be used with some ambulatory syringe drivers, but they too
are usually under-filled to fit into the driver or its carry case.
Ambulatory devices need to be battery-powered. An option to run on mains power is
offered for some devices, but this would require connection either to a docking
station or to a special charger for a device running on an integral rechargeable
battery, preventing ambulatory use during this time.
Drug delivery patterns and accuracy
Fluid is not delivered smoothly by ambulatory syringe drivers, but as a series of small
boluses. This is common for most battery-operated ambulatory pumps. Most of them
have discontinuous patterns, particularly at low flow rates. This is a deliberate design
to conserve battery power. Smooth and continuous delivery requires more battery
power, and reduces the overall battery life. Stop-start flow patterns result in poor
minute-to-minute accuracy, which is expressed as a constancy index. The constancy
index of an infusion device provides a guide to the minimum half life of a drug
suitable for administration. It is determined at a flow rate of 1 ml/h. The constancy
index needs to be shorter than the drug’s half life. CSI, however, does not require
very smooth flow patterns. The overall hourly accuracy of delivery is more important
than minute-to-minute accuracy. Smooth delivery might be important for
administration of some IV drugs, particularly cardiovascular drugs.
Start-up time
The start-up time is defined as the time required for an infusion device to start
delivering at a set rate. This parameter is affected by the design of the device’s
driving mechanism, and by procedures carried out prior to starting the pump. For a
syringe pump, automatic purging of a syringe reduces the start-up time, as this helps
to eliminate the mechanical slack in the system. Most modern syringe drivers offer
the purge function as an option. The purge volume can be set up when the pump is
configured, or it can be controlled by the user.
Delivery options
Ambulatory syringe drivers complying with IEC 60601-2-24 offer a 24-hour delivery
as an option. This option allows the user to set up an infusion over 24 hours quickly
CEP08046: December 2008
Technical considerations
and reliably, without the need to perform a flow rate calculation. The syringe
recognition system registers the volume of fluid in the syringe, and the delivery rate is
calculated by the device. The user only needs to check the parameters of the
infusion and initiate the delivery. This is a useful feature for palliative care
applications, particularly where the delivery of drugs is typically performed over a 24hour period. Other delivery options may be offered, such as setting up a different
delivery rate or setting up the time of delivery. The choice of delivery options may be
restricted by the manufacturer, at the purchaser’s request, to minimise the risk of
user error.
An additional bolus function with an option to initiate immediate delivery at maximum
flow rate is offered on some pumps, but this can always be disabled during
configuration if clinical practice does not advise using it. There are specific reasons
for restricting bolus drug delivery in palliative care applications, including risk of
increased side-effects from delivery of a higher dose of different drugs mixed in a
syringe, and pain at the needle site [4].
Modern syringe drivers can be calibrated to operate with most commonly used luerlock syringes. The amount of fluid that can be delivered from large volume syringes is
limited for some pumps because of the limited length of the mechanism that drives
the syringe plunger.
All modern infusion devices are expected to have alarms to alert users to situations
that could compromise therapy delivery, such as power interruption, a blocked line, a
displaced syringe, tampering with the infusion, and end of infusion. Ambulatory
syringe drivers complying with IEC 60601-2-24 offer all these safety features. An
alarm typically involves an audible signal accompanied by a visual message on a
driver’s display indicating the reason for alarm and providing instructions on how to
resolve the problem.
A syringe recognition system does not only alert a user that syringe displacement
has occurred during delivery, but also helps to prevent delivery error from the use of
an incorrect syringe. The syringe recognition system employs a series of sensors
which register the position of the syringe barrel, the barrel’s flanges and the plunger,
and alerts a user if displacement has occurred from any of these points. Syringe
displacement can have serious consequences for a patient. When a pump is raised
relative to the infusion site, high positive pressure in the line may cause the syringe
to empty its contents into the patient. Siphoning can occur when a driver is lower
than the infusion site (high backpressure in the system). However siphoning is
considered to be a less of an issue for subcutaneous infusion than it is for
intravenous infusion.
CEP08046: December 2008
Technical considerations
The ability of the syringe recognition system to distinguish between different syringe
brands is dependent on the barrel clamp sensor being able to distinguish differences
in syringe barrel diameter. At present, there are no syringe drivers on the market that
are able to distinguish the small differences in diameter of all syringe brands
successfully, and this is particularly true of small volume syringes. For this reason the
syringe recognition system is not truly “automatic” as it requires a user to confirm the
pump’s best estimate. Significant flow rate errors can result from incorrect syringe
confirmation. Users are given an option to configure a driver to recognise only
specified syringe brands and volumes. Restricting these options can reduce the risk
of programming errors in some circumstances.
Protection against free flow is not typically offered by syringe drivers, but for CSI this
issue is less of a concern than it is for IV infusions. Some manufacturers, however,
offer extension sets incorporating an anti-siphon valve to prevent free flow.
An event log stores a record of all key presses performed by a user during device
operation, and this log is an invaluable source of information on the operation of the
device, or any interference that might have occurred. Typically, event logs are
downloadable from the pump memory to a PC for further analysis, and the software
necessary for this should be provided by the manufacturer.
Prevention of accidental changes to an infusion delivery can be achieved using a
keypad lock or provision of a lockable box in which to house the pump. Not all
syringe drivers offer a lockable box as standard; for some drivers it is an optional
CEP08046: December 2008
Operational considerations
A wide range of factors can contribute to the suitability of a syringe driver for a
specific therapy. Table 1 highlights some of these factors for a palliative care
Table 1: Operational considerations in selecting a syringe driver for palliative care
Pump appearance
Pumps allowing delivery over different fixed time periods should be
clearly distinguishable from each other, to minimise the risk of
setting up an incorrect delivery rate.
Carrying the pump
For ambulatory use, the pumps should be small, lightweight and
comfortable to carry around in the carry cases provided. Carry cases
should be washable at 60ºC.
Dosing units
Infusion delivery units should be in millilitres per hour (ml/h) rather
than in millimetres per hour (mm/h). This would maintain consistency
in training as other infusion devices are typically set up to deliver in
ml/h. Using dosing units of ml/h also facilitates drawing up solutions
and monitoring the delivery using the millilitre measurement scale on
the side of the syringe. Infusion devices compliant with the safety
requirements for infusion pumps deliver in ml/h; the delivered
volume in ml is recorded by the device, and is available to view at
any time during delivery.
Delivery regime
The option to set up infusion over a 24-hour period is very
convenient, particularly in palliative care, as drug dosage is typically
prescribed over 24 hours. With an automatic syringe volume
recognition system a user would only need to confirm the time of
delivery as the rate is calculated by the pump.
Bolus deliveries
Devices offering restricted access to the bolus/prime function can
prevent unauthorised delivery at the maximum flow rate. If several
drugs are mixed in a syringe then a bolus delivery can affect the
daily prescribed dose. The option to prevent bolus delivery should
be offered in configuration.
Flow rate safety limits
An option to restrict the flow rate to a specific range with an upper
and lower limit, or configuring the system for a single flow rate would
be an added safety feature, as this would prevent the user from
setting rates outside the preset safety limits.
Battery function
Visual indication of the battery status should be provided. Visual and
audible alerts to warn a user of low battery status are essential to
ensure safe therapy delivery.
Syringe recognition
Pumps offering a syringe recognition function require a user to
confirm the volume and brand of the syringe used; this is an extra
safety precaution which helps to prevent a delivery error from an
incorrect syringe. Any permitted syringe brand and volume can be
used; the volume of the syringe content is estimated by the pump.
CEP08046: December 2008
Operational considerations
Alarms and alerts
The ability of a pump to indicate a malfunction or a dangerous
condition, which can compromise the therapy, is an important safety
feature. Users should check that the alarm tone is sufficiently
audible. Clear messages on the device’s display to guide the user
on the cause of alarm and actions for resolving the problem are
helpful. Duration of standby alarm time is important: a long standby
alarm time could result in delayed feedback from the pump, if
infusion is not initiated immediately for any reason.
Power supply
Disposable batteries allow greater flexibility for ambulatory
applications as they typically run for longer compared with a
rechargeable battery’s single charge, do not require regular
recharging, and can be purchased from most retail outlets. However,
use of rechargeable batteries can reduce wastage significantly, and
is more cost-effective. For integrated rechargeable batteries,
management of the battery charger should be taken into account
and provision made for its storage.
Event logging
Event logging allows the driver’s operation or any unauthorised
interference with its performance to be traced by storing the history
of any key presses in the driver’s memory. This could help in
identifying the cause of performance issues.
Photosensitive drugs
Some drug mixtures may be light-sensitive and the driver should
offer protection by providing a specially designed holster or syringe
Use of large volume syringes allows solutions to be further diluted,
which can be advantageous with some drugs. Provision for using
large volume syringes fully-filled should be checked, as not all
drivers offer this facility.
Lockable box
Some clinical protocols may require drugs to be locked in the
infusion devices in order to prevent tampering with syringe content.
This would require the use of a lockable box during delivery. The
total weight of a driver and its lockable box would need to be taken
into account, and provision of carrying accessories to accommodate
the lockable box should be offered.
Infusion sets
Sets with a narrow internal diameter and shorter lengths (also called
‘low volume’ sets) reduce the priming volume.
Training and support
Training and ongoing product support are available from all suppliers, and are
essential when purchasing a new syringe driver. Some suppliers also offer both
clinical and technical on-site training and support through dedicated teams
throughout the working life of their products, at no extra cost to the customer. Most
suppliers offer a flexible competency-based training programme with some suppliers’
training programmes leading to a competency-based certificate accredited by the
Royal College of Nursing.
CEP08046: December 2008
Economic considerations
Direct cost
Although the list prices for the ambulatory syringe drivers are similar; when
considering the drivers’ cost per warranty year, differences can be seen between
devices (Table 3).
Calculations of costs over a five-year period are included; for some drivers five years
is a minimum estimated life-time of the device. The cost analyses are based on the
list prices provided by the manufacturers for their devices and on the general usage
of syringe drivers in palliative care, with only the costs of disposables and batteries
included in calculations. The costs of training, servicing, discounts on bulk purchase
are not considered.
The annual cost of disposables is given in Table 2 and is based on a regimen of
replacing a syringe every day, and a catheter and dressing every three days [3]. The
cost of disposables is assumed to be the same for all the drivers. The following
disposables were indicated as the most commonly used, and are included in the
calculation: BD Plastipak 20 ml syringe, Graseby Flo-Safer winged infusion set, and
Tegaderm transparent dressing. The total annual cost of disposables for a syringe
driver in palliative care is estimated to be £570.50.
Table 2: Annual cost of disposables for a syringe driver in palliative care
Syringes * ( £)
Catheters ** (£)
Dressing *** (£)
Total annual
disposables cost (£)
Notes: * BD Plastipak 20 ml syringe (Ref: 300629, list price £20.34 for the box of 120
** Graseby Flo-Safer Winged infusion set (Ref: 0105-0029, price list £2.01 each)
*** Tegaderm Transparent dressing (Ref: 1624W, price list £2.17 each)
The battery replacement regime varies for different drivers, and for different types of
battery. This has an impact on the overall annual running cost of the driver. Using
rechargeable batteries reduces wastage and offers some savings over disposable
batteries. Savings of around £5,700 over a five-year period can be achieved for 30
devices running on rechargeable batteries (Table 3).
For drivers running on integral rechargeable batteries, the additional cost of labour
and shipping would need to be added to a battery replacement cost. Rechargeable
batteries that are integrated as part of the device can only be replaced by the
manufacturer or hospital servicing departments, and the batteries are only available
from the manufacturer.
CEP08046: December 2008
Economic considerations
The cost comparison, provided in Table 3 is based on the assumption that all syringe
drivers are equally effective.
Table 3: Running cost of an ambulatory syringe driver
Pump name
MPdaily /
MP-101 /
Unit cost (£)
875 / 912*
438 / 456*
1.5 V
9V NiMh
Warranty period (years)
Pump costs per warranty year (£)
Costs of batteries
Battery type
Number of batteries required
Battery unit cost (£)
Battery cost per driver (£)
Battery life (days)
No. of battery replacements per year
Battery cost per year per driver (£)
Battery cost over 5 years per driver (£)
Battery cost per 5 years for 30 drivers
Running cost per 5 years for 30
drivers (£)
Notes: * The list price and cost analysis are for the MPml/h driver.
** Disposable batteries: prices taken from the NHS Logistics catalogue, 2006
*** This driver uses an integrated rechargeable battery which, on average, needs to be changed once in three
years. Initial cost of the battery is included into the driver’s list price
§ This pump uses a standard rechargeable battery. Price includes the cost of a charger and two
rechargeable NiMh 170mAh batteries; this is not included into the pump’s list price. The batteries and
the charger need to be changed once in three years
Charger and batteries recommended to be changed once in three years by CME McKinley
A typical purchasing package would include a syringe driver, a battery, a carry bag, a
user manual and training material. The lockbox is provided by some manufacturers
free of charge with any new purchased pump; others supply it as a cost option. Carry
packs/holsters are also available as optional accessories (Table 4). Carry packs
should be washable if for multiple use, or disposable for single use only. Although
CEP08046: December 2008
Economic considerations
syringe drivers do not require the use of dedicated infusion sets, some manufacturers
offer proprietary infusion sets for their products.
Table 4: Syringe driver accessories price list
AD syringe
McKinley T34
35 (washable)
40 (washable),
10 (disposable)
Lockbox, list price, (£)
Proprietary sets,
(name/product code)
a) MFX 1952
b) MFX 2259***
c) MFX 1633
Proprietary sets, (list
price per unit)
a) £2.39
b) £1.08
c) £1.08
Carry pack, list price, (£)
Flo Safer
Winged (Ref:
a) Ref:100172S***
b) Ref: 100170S***
(1m line)
a) £1.85
b) £2.45
Notes: * Integral lockable syringe cover, available in packs of 5
** For all Micrel devices: the lockbox is not included into the original purchasing package, but is
available at the specified list price
*** The prime volume of these sets is 0.3 ml.
Prime volume is 0.4 ml
A lockbox is offered free of charge with a new MS driver. Additional lockboxes may be purchased.
Maintenance and service
Most purchasers carry out their own servicing and maintenance of syringe drivers,
with EBME/MEMS departments typically servicing local community devices as well.
Manufacturers typically conduct initial training programmes for clinical and technical
staff at no extra charge. Further upgrade training would generally be the purchaser’s
responsibility, although some manufacturers offer extra training if required, at no
additional cost, over the life-time of the device.
CEP08046: December 2008
There is no national consensus on the required performance specifications for
syringe drivers. Hospital and community trusts generally have their own selection
criteria based on local clinical needs and priorities.
The replacement process is primarily driven by hospitals, but can sometimes involve
community input. Community involvement is considered important as syringe drivers
are used both in primary and secondary care settings, including hospices, the
community, nursing homes and district nursing care. Collaboration between the
community and hospitals can help to ensure staff and patients are familiar with the
drivers used in both these care settings.
Current market distribution
Currently, there are around 40 000 MS series syringe drivers in use in the UK, and
their use has been established in clinical practice for more than 20 years. However,
safer syringe drivers are now available, and the market is likely to shift over time to
reflect this.
Selection criteria
The selection criteria for a new ambulatory syringe driver are dependent on the
clinical application(s). Compliance with IEC 60601-2-24 will ensure that the driver
meets the key requirements for use in palliative care, as well as a variety of other
applications, including oncology, paediatric, cystic fibrosis, etc, and will be capable of
delivering therapies via both subcutaneous and IV routes. This application diversity
supports standardisation of infusion equipment on a relatively small number of
devices. The option to set up a delivery in volume units (ml/h) allows consistency in
training, as other infusion devices are typically set up to deliver in the same way.
A short trial of the syringe driver would normally be performed by clinicians prior to
purchase. Many trusts include a technical assessment by a medical engineer or
technician to assess the driver’s design and ease of replacing parts, as these also
have cost and safety implications. Servicing and maintenance procedures would also
be checked. Figure 1 illustrates key elements of the selection process.
CEP08046: December 2008
Figure 1. Decision diagram
Critical drug
Consider mains powered pumps
with good long and short-term
accuracy, and a highly sensitive
occlusion alarm. For other
requirements, refer to [15], page
Consider non-portable
electrically powered pumps,
refer to [15], page 53
IV delivery
Large volume
Consider dedicated
pumps for enteral
Compliance with IEC 606012-24 is required
Large volume
Check therapy and safety
Consider pumps for
parenteral infusions, refer to
Consult CEP
buyers’ guide
market review
tables for a
suitable syringe
Arrange trial of
suitable syringe
The implementation of modern syringe drivers that offer similar operation to the MS
series would not require modification to existing clinical protocols; however extra
clinical and technical training in using these devices would be necessary.[17]
The purchase of devices complying with IEC 60601-2-24 would require additional
comprehensive training for clinical and technical staff who have previous experience
CEP08046: December 2008
in dealing with syringe drivers delivering in mm/h or mm/24h. Clinical protocols for
therapy provision and monitoring would need to be modified. However, infusion
devices meeting the requirements of the safety standard are simpler to set up,
program and monitor than devices not meeting the standard. Training programmes
and on-going manufacturer’s support, tailored to user needs, are essential in
facilitating the adoption of new syringe drivers.
Replacement of all devices simultaneously would reduce the risk of error resulting
from using different devices and different protocols at the same time. However, given
the large number of older design syringe drivers in use, replacement would probably
need to be phased, ideally on a ward or hospital basis, to minimise the usage of
different models of device within the same clinical setting.
Tendering and purchasing process
Trusts often go through the tendering process for purchasing new syringe drivers or
upgrading the existing stock themselves, with some involving the community trusts in
this process as well. However, as staff and patients are moving through both primary
and secondary care settings, it can be helpful to standardise devices on a regional
basis. Regional collaboration can also facilitate the tendering process and help to
maximise value for money achievable.
NHS Supply Chain has indicated an intention to develop a national framework
agreement for a range of infusion devices, including syringe drivers.
Service and maintenance
Most purchasers typically carry out their own servicing and maintenance of syringe
drivers. The local community is typically served by EBME/MEMS departments of
local hospitals.
Purchasing procedures
The Trust Operational Purchasing Procedures Manual provides details of the
procurement process [18].
European Union procurement rules apply to public bodies, including the NHS.
The purpose of these rules is to open up the public procurement market and ensure
the free movement of goods and services within the EU.
In the majority of cases, a competition is required and decisions should be based on
best value.
CEP08046: December 2008
The EU procurement rules apply to contracts worth more than £90,319 (from January
1st 2008) [19]. Further details of the process are detailed in Appendix 2.
NHS Supply Chain (NHS SC) offers national contracts or framework agreements for
some products, goods and services. Use of these agreements is not compulsory and
NHS organisations may opt to follow local procedures.
Sustainable procurement
The UK Government launched its current strategy for sustainable development,
Securing the Future [20] in March 2005. The Strategy describes four priorities to
progress sustainable development, in the UK and in the world as a whole:
• sustainable production and consumption – working towards achieving more with
• natural resource protection and environmental enhancement – protecting the
natural resources and habitats upon which we depend
• sustainable communities – creating places where people want to live and work,
now and in the future
• climate change and energy – confronting the greatest identified threat facing the
global community.
The strategy also highlights the key role of public procurement in delivering
The main sustainability issues relating to the use of ambulatory syringe drivers are
concerned with the use of batteries, both disposable and rechargeable. These issues
will be outlined in terms of battery generated wastage and end-of-life product
Battery usage
Ambulatory syringe drivers use battery energy to operate. There are devices which
run on disposable batteries only, but some can use a rechargeable battery. Using
rechargeable batteries significantly reduces wastage, and is more cost effective than
using disposable batteries. However, this advantage would need to be carefully
considered against the needs of ambulatory patients. Drivers using standard NiMH
150mAh rechargeable batteries would require two batteries, with one battery in use
whilst the other is being recharged. This type of battery requires recharging every 24
hours. Rechargeable batteries are recharged using mains electricity from either a
specially provided charger (for integral batteries) or from a standard charger (for
standard batteries). Costs of mains energy and battery usage should be included in
whole-life calculations.
CEP08046: December 2008
The NiMH battery contains no toxic metals and has no special requirements for
disposal. However, it is advisable to send them for recycling. Li-ion batteries have
special disposal requirements and should be returned to the manufacturer for
End of life disposal
Consideration should be given to the likely financial and environmental costs of
disposal at the end of the product’s life. Where appropriate, suppliers of equipment
placed on the market after the 13th August 2005 should be able to demonstrate
compliance with the UK Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)
regulations (2006) [21]. The WEEE regulations place responsibility for financing the
cost of collection and disposal on the producer. Electrical and electronic equipment is
exempt from the WEEE regulations where it is deemed to be contaminated when
scheduled for disposal by the final user. However, if it is subsequently
decontaminated such that it no longer poses an infection risk, it is again covered by
the WEEE regulations, and there may be potential to dispose of the unit through the
normal WEEE recovery channels.
CEP08046: December 2008
Market review
Market overview
Several ambulatory syringe drivers are available in the UK:
Cardinal Healthcare AD syringe driver
Eden Medical Micropump MPdaily / MP-101 / MPmlh syringe driver
Smiths Medical (Graseby) MS26 / MS16A syringe driver
CME McKinley T34 syringe pump.
Smiths Medical MS26 and MS16A syringe drivers are established products and have
dominated the market for over two decades. Eden Medical syringe drivers MP-101
and MPdaily offer the same functionality as MS26/16A drivers, but have extra safety
features. Two other pumps, the CME McKinley Medical T34 ambulatory syringe
pump and Cardinal Health AD ambulatory syringe driver, are relatively new to the
market. These last two devices claim compliance with IEC 60601-2-24 (covering
requirements for infusion devices) and offer all the safety features expected from a
modern infusion pump.
Evaluation protocol
The market review is based on our findings from consultation with device users and
manufacturers, including a national questionnaire-based survey of clinical staff
providing palliative care in hospital, hospice and community settings for which a
response rate of 61% (147/240) was achieved. In addition, we conducted in-house
usability assessments, with a team of eight clinicians and trained evaluators. The
clinicians comprised palliative care specialists working in both hospital and
community-based settings. Participants performed predefined tasks with each
device, and then completed individually a usability questionnaire. The tasks were
based on a typical procedure which users would have to perform whilst using the
syringe drivers for palliative care applications.
Results of the user assessment survey and the usability assessment session are
reproduced separately in table 5 using a five-star rating system. See appendix 3 for
further details of the methodology and the questionnaires used.
Survey results
The respondents experience of using syringe drivers depended on the model. On
average, this was 11 years for the MS26/MS16A drivers, 16 months for the Micrel
MPdaily/MP-101, 14 months for theT34 pump, and 31 days for the AD syringe driver.
20 ml or 30 ml BD Plastipak syringes and Graseby Flo-Safer Winged infusion set
were reported as the most commonly used disposables. Drivers were typically used
on a daily basis to deliver a range of therapies for palliative care and oncology
patients. 85% of users of modern syringe drivers had previous experience of using
the Smiths Medical MS26 or MS16A syringe drivers.
CEP08046: December 2008
Market review
Table 5: Market review
AD syringe driver
Micrel MPdaily / MP-101
MS26 / MS16A
McKinley T34
List Price (ex. VAT) (£)
Warranty period (months)
Supplier (UK)
Zi Med
Eden Medical
Smiths Medical
CME McKinley
Follow up support period
5 years
12 months
5 years
5 years
Size (H x W x D), (mm)
230 x 87 x 43
165 x 40x 23
166 x 53 x 23
169 x 53 x 23
Weight with battery (g)
Not needed
Type of display, size (mm)
Backlit LCD, 30 x 40
Backlit LCD, 20 x 30
No display
Backlit LCD, 60 x 20
Power supply
Battery, mains (when
placed in charger
Battery only
Battery only
Battery (mains for
alternative model
McKinley T34L only)
Disposable, 6 x AAA
Disposable , 1x 9V
Disposable (1x 9V
Alkaline) and
rechargeable (1x 9V,
General information
Meets IEC 60601-2-24
UK launch year
Lock box weight (g)
Water resistance
Battery options
CEP08046: December 2008
Rechargeable, 1x Li-ion
Market review
General information
Battery life* (days)
Recommended syringes (ml)
Accepts a full 30 ml syringe
AD syringe driver
Micrel MPdaily / MP-101
MS26 / MS16A
McKinley T34
5 - 30
5 – 50/60***
2 – 35***
2 – 50***
No, takes 38 ml volume
in 50 ml syringes
60º C
Friction drive
Motor driven linear
actuator, pulsed motion
Motor driven linear
actuator, pulsed motion
Motor driven linear
actuator, pulsed motion

Carry case provided
Carry case max washing tº
RCN accredited training
Pumping mechanism
Delivery in ml/h offered
Flow rate (min – max), (ml/h)
Flow rate (min – max),
(Mp ml/h model only)
0.1 - 200

0.1 – 28.4 (for Mp ml/h)
0.1 – 1000
1 – 99 (mm/24h or
1 – 99 (mm/24h or
Min flow rate increments
0.1 ml/h
1 mm/24 h or 1mm/h
1 mm/24h or 1 mm/h
0.1 ml/h
Stated flow rate accuracy
+/- 2%
+/- 4%
+/- 5 %
+/- 2%
KVO rate
Bolus function offered
Pump priming/purging
Notes: *
For a typical 24 hour infusion in palliative care
** Battery needs to be recharged regularly, at least every 3 days, using a provided charger. Estimated battery life is 3 years
 For disposable battery
*** Large volume syringes should be underfilled to allow delivery
 Maximum flow rate is different for different syringe sizes and 200 ml/h is achievable only for 30/35 ml syringes
CEP08046: December 2008
Market review
AD syringe driver
Micrel MPdaily / MP-101
MS26 / MS16A
McKinley T34
simultaneous 2 keys
Separate power key
Syringe recognition system
Running infusion indicator
Battery power indicator
Volume infused indicator
Keypad lock
Comprehensive alarms
Configurable rate limits
Occlusion alarm pressure
range (mmHg)
300, 600
900, 1125
938 - 3677
100 – 1500
Interface with computer
via charger, (RS 232)
via RS 232 port
via docking station
Accuracy (min/max, %)*
-4.9 / +7.0
- 16.3 / +8.0**
-3.7 / +5.6***
-2.4 / + 2.8
9 / 27
Standby time (minutes)
Adjustable alarm volume
Event log
Constancy index (minutes)
Start up time (minutes)
Notes: *

Minimum and maximum accuracy of all tested flow rates, including minimum available flow rate, conducted in BIME
Results are for the MPml/h model performance
Results are for the MS26 performance
Start up time varies depending on syringe used, with 31.5 min being the worst. The other values were within the range of 1.5 min – 19 min
Start up time of 9 minutes is with purge and 27 minutes without purge
CEP08046: December 2008
Market review
User survey results
Occlusion alarm time
Bolus on release of occlusion
at 1ml/h (ml)
No of responses received
AD syringe driver
Micrel MPdaily / MP-101
MS26 / MS16A
McKinley T34
Support from manufacturer
Battery life
Ease of cleaning
Meeting user needs
Evaluated device
AD syringe driver
Micrel MPdaily
= acceptable
= good
McKinley T34
Panel assessment of usability
User instruction
Pump (physical design)
Setting up the pump
Setting up the infusion
Carrying the pump
Overall usability for palliative
care applications
= very poor
= less than acceptable
= very good
Notes: * no information was available from the users; the products are well established with training and servicing being conducted locally.
CEP08046: December 2008
Market review
Table 6: Market review (summary)
Overall summary
Micrel MPdaily / MP-101
MS26 / MS16A
Small and lightweight, key press
start and stop of infusion, limits for
flow rate can be set up, low battery
alarm, event log, brief instructions
on the pump body, liked by users
Small and lightweight, long battery
run-time, good quality lock box
Complies with IEC 60601-2-24,
syringe recognition system,
accepts fully-filled 30 ml syringes,
limits for flow rate, good syringe
protection by a lockable syringe
cover, lockable key pad,
rechargeable battery
Complies with IEC 60601-2-24,
syringe recognition system offered,
easy menu navigation, lockable
key pad, clear display, good font
size, limits for flow rate, easy to
maintain and repair, accepts
standard rechargeable battery
Rate set up in mm over time,
defaults to a non-zero rate, no
syringe recognition system, no
syringe displacement alarm, long
time for occlusion alarm response,
takes 6 batteries, buttons are not
intuitive to use, disagreements in
provided user instructions,
recommended washable
temperature for carry bag is 30ºC,
lock box is heavy and does not fit
the provided carry bag
Potential to set up wrong delivery
rate due to confusion between
pumps, no stop button, rate set in
mm over time, rate zero can be set
up without alarm, rate can be
changed without stopping the
pump, rudimentary alarm system,
no event log, poor protection
against syringe displacement, long
time to alarm at occlusion, no
battery power indicator, poor
running infusion indicator
30-50 ml syringes should be
significantly under-filled to fit the
driver; reduced battery life, some
30 ml and 50 ml syringes do not fit
into the lock box.
Disposable battery not offered,
charger is bulky and takes extra
space at bedside, no restriction on
purge volume, necessity to
recharge at regular intervals using
a dedicated charger , key labels
are not obvious and may require
training to become accustomed to,
menu navigation is not always
intuitive, can feel heavy and
cumbersome to carry in the offered
carry cases
New to the market, offers good
safety features. Runs on an
integral rechargeable battery,
requires an external charger.
Infusion monitoring and syringe
displacement protection were
praised by users. Feels bulky and
uncomfortable in the carry case
presently offered. Good
manufacturer support and training
praised by users
Compact, lightweight and small
size driver. Users found it easy to
use and set up. Similar to the MS
drivers, but offer extra safety
features. Setting rate in mm/h
(24h), lack of syringe recognition
system and syringe displacement
alarm make it vulnerable to user
Compact, lightweight and small
size driver. Users found it robust,
easy to use and set up, however
the lack of essential safety features
makes it vulnerable to user error.
Setting up the rate in mm/h
increases risk of error
Small and compact. Its safety
features, logical menu and easy
monitoring were liked by users, but
some found it rather cumbersome
and bulky. Disposable battery life
was poor, requiring frequent
replacement. Compact design
allows easy repair and
maintenance. Good manufacturer
support offered. Option to use
standard rechargeable battery is
AD syringe driver
CEP08046: December 2008
We should like to thank the following for their contribution to this buyers’ guide.
Andrew Phillips, Clinical Engineer, RUH, Bath
Caroline Groom, Specialist Palliative Care Nurse, RUH, Bath
Allison Falder, Senior Sister, William Budd Ward, RUH, Bath
Dr Karen Groves, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, West Lancs, Southport & Formby
Palliative Care Services
Andrew Dickman, Senior Clinical Pharmacist, Marie Curie Hospice and Liverpool
Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Trust
Laurence Patuzzo, Supplies Manager, South Yorkshire Ambulatory Syringe Pump
Stephen Keay, Medical Equipment Training Officer, Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust
Jacqui Connell, Education & Development Practitioner, Plymouth Hospitals NHS
Stephen Duffy, Medical Equipment Training Officer, University Hospital of North
Staffordshire NHS Trust
Sara Springer, Clinical Adviser/Manager, Medical Equipment Library, Southampton
General Hospital
Alan Beddows, Oncology, Sheffield Children NHS Foundation Trust, South Yorkshire
Wendy Pepper and Ruth Gretton, Dorothy House Hospice, Wiltshire
Jonathan Burrill, Category Manager, NHS Supply Chain
Rachel Dixon, Product Manager, AD Syringe Driver, Cardinal Health ALARIS
Gordon Machray, Sales Director, Eden Medical Limited
Linda Smith, Senior Product Manager, Infusion and Diabetes, Smiths Medical
Stephen Thorpe, Managing Director, CME McKinley UK Limited
CEP08046: December 2008
CSI – continuous subcutaneous infusion is a method of drug delivery via injection
into the fatty layer of the skin (subcutaneous layer).
Constancy index – is a characteristic of the short-term accuracy (minute-to-minute
accuracy) of an infusion pump, and is defined as a minimum period of time within
which the flow rate is within +/-10% of its nominal rate. This parameter is specified for
one flow rate only, 1 ml/h.
DH – Department of Health
IEC 60601-2-24:1998 Medical Electrical Equipment, Part 2 - is the standard that
details particular requirements for the safety of infusion pumps and controllers.
KVO - Keep Vein Open is an infusion option which is offered automatically, if
configured on, at the end of infusion and continues delivery at the lower rate in order
to maintain the patency of the catheter.
MDA – Medical Devices Agency (now MHRA)
MHRA – Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
NiMH – nickel-metal hydride, a type of a rechargeable battery
NPSA – National Patient Safety Agency
VTBI – volume to be infused
TVI – total volume infused
RCN – Royal College of Nursing
CEP08046: December 2008
[1] Storey P, Hill HH, Jr., St Louis RH, Tarver EE. Subcutaneous infusions for
control of cancer symptoms. J PAIN SYMPTOM MANAGE 1990 Feb;5(1):33-41.
[2] Hanks G. Principles of drug use in palliative medicine. In: Doyle D, Hanks G,
Cherny N, Sir Calman, editors. Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine. 3rd ed.
2005. p. 219.
[3] Wilson V. Guidelines for use of the MS26 daily rate syringe driver in the
community. Br J Community Nurs 2000 Apr;5(4):162-8.
[4] Mitten T. Subcutaneous drug infusions: a review of problems and solutions. Int J
Palliat Nurs 2001 Feb;7(2):75-85.
[5] Bruera E. Ambulatory infusion devices in the continuing care of patients with
advanced diseases. J PAIN SYMPTOM MANAGE 1990 Oct;5(5):287-96.
[6] Herndon CM, Fike DS. Continuous subcutaneous infusion practices of United
States hospices. J PAIN SYMPTOM MANAGE 2001 Dec;22(6):1027-34.
[7] Graham F, Clark D. The syringe driver and the subcutaneous route in palliative
care: The inventor, the history and the implications. J PAIN SYMPTOM
MANAGE 2005;29(1):32-40.
[8] O'Doherty CA, Hall EJ, Schofield L, Zeppetella G. Drugs and syringe drivers: a
survey of adult specialist palliative care practice in the United Kingdom and Eire.
Palliat Med 2001 Mar;15(2):149-54.
[9] Wilcock A, Jacob JK, Charlesworth S, Harris E, Gibbs M, Allsop H. Drugs given
by a syringe driver: a prospective multicentre survey of palliative care services
in the UK. Palliat Med 2006 Oct;20(7):661-4.
[10] Dickman A. Devices for continuous subcutaneous infusions. Hospital Pharmacy
Europe 2007 Dec;11/12/2007.
[11] Medical electrical equipment - Part 2: Particular requirements for the safety of
infusion pumps and controllers. 1998. Report No.: IEC 60601-2-24.
[12] MDA Hazard: Graseby Medical MS16, MS16A, MS26 ambulatory syringe
pumps. Medical Devices Agency; 1995. Report No.: 9506.
[13] Poor design, poor labeling, lack of training and poor communication - Case
study 1 - Graseby Pump. Patient Safety Matters 2006Available from: URL:
CEP08046: December 2008
[14] Shaw S, Meek F. Thinking about nursing practice and culture: syringe drivers.
Int J Palliat Nurs 2007 Oct;13(10):490-3.
[15] MDA DB2003 (02). Infusion systems. 2003.
[16] National Patient Safety Agency. Safety in doses: medication safety incidents in
the NHS (fourth report from the Patient Safety Observatory). 2007.
Ref Type: Generic
[17] Davey C, Skryabina E, Chan J, et al. Buyers' Guide: Portable pumps for home
parenteral nutrition. Bath Institute Medical Engineering: CEP NHS PASA; 2008
May. Report No.: 08021.
[18] Purchasing and Supply Agency (PASA): Trust Operational Purchasing
Procedures Manual (NHS intranet only). Website 2008Available from: URL:
[19] Office of Government Commerce EU Procurement Thresholds. Website
2008Available from: URL:
[20] UK Government Strategy for Sustainable Development; Securing the Future.
Website 2008Available from: URL:
[21] EC Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment. Website
2008Available from: URL:
[22] Purchasing and Supply Agency (PASA): Leasing. Website 2008Available from:
[23] Office of Government Commerce EU Procurement Thresholds. Website
2008Available from: URL:
[24] Office of Government Commerce. Website 2008Available from: URL:
[25] Purchasing and Supply Agency (PASA): Operational Purchasing Procedures
Manual (NHS intranet only). Website 2008Available from: URL:
[26] Department of Health. European Union Tendering Timetable. Website
2008Available from: URL:
CEP08046: December 2008
[27] Purchasing and Supply Agency (PASA): Trust Operational Purchasing
Procedures Manual (NHS intranet only). Website 2008Available from: URL:
[28] Department of Health. Desk guide to procurement. Website 2005Available from:
CEP08046: December 2008
Appendix 1: Supplier contact details
ZiMed Ltd
Unit 34, Llys Edmund Prys.
St Asaph Business Park,
St Asaph
01745 585770
Eden Medical Limited
1 Dryden Loan
Bilston Glen Industrial Estate, Loanhead
Midlothian, EH20 9HR
0131 4406500
Smiths Medical International Limited
Colonial Way, Watford
Herts, WD24 4LG
01923 246434
CME McKinley UK Limited
Kincraig Business Park
Kincraig Road
Lancashire, FY2 0PJ
01253 894646
CEP08046: December 2008
Appendix 2: EU procurement procedure
EU procurement procedure
Lease options
National frameworks are in place for operating leases to help the NHS procure
leases more cost efficiently and effectively. The framework came into place on 1st
April 2007 and runs for two years. Further details are available from the PASA
website [22].
EU procedures
The Public Sector Directive (2004/18/EC) has been transposed into UK law. This has
been achieved by means of the following statutory instruments:
the Public Contracts Regulations SI 2006 No.5 (the regulations)
the Utilities Contracts Regulations SI 2006 No. 6 (not relevant to this guide).
The regulations apply to contracts worth more than £90,319 (from January 1st 2008)
[23] over their whole life, and specify the procedures to be followed for public sector
contracting, including adherence to strict timetables, requirements for advertising,
invitation to tender, and the award of contract. Organisations undertaking a
procurement exercise covered by the regulations must give all suppliers an equal
opportunity to express an interest in tendering for the contract by placing a contract
notice in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).
At all stages of the procurement process, the purchaser must be demonstrably fair,
as any decision made can be challenged by the unsuccessful suppliers.
Establishing a procurement strategy
To achieve a successful outcome, decisions need to be made on:
whether an existing contract/agreement can be used
the need to consider sustainable development issues
whether EU directives apply
the type and form of contract
sourcing potential suppliers
duration of contract and opportunity to review/extend
payment schedules
how to minimise any risks with the chosen strategy, including supplier
appraisal and evaluation/clarification of suppliers’ bids.
CEP08046: December 2008
Appendix 2: EU procurement procedure
Preparing a business case
A business case should be drafted and approved before conducting any procurement
exercise. Further guidance on preparing business cases is available from the Office
of Government Commerce [24] and an illustrative example is provided in the NHS
PASA Operational Purchasing Procedures Manual, Procedure 1-01 [25].
The EU tendering exercise
EU procurements usually take between 4 and 6 months to complete. This needs to
be taken into account in the planning stages. The length of the exercise depends on
the chosen procedure (open or restricted). Further information is available from the
DH [26].
The procurement panel
A multidisciplinary team should be selected to guide the purchase. Representatives
from clinical, user, technical, estates, and financial areas should be considered.
Identifying potential suppliers
Criteria for supplier selection must be established. A supplier pre-qualification
questionnaire may be employed as an initial screen to exclude unsuitable suppliers.
The questionnaire should ask for details such as skills and experience of the service
Evaluation criteria
Performance specifications should be derived from local operational requirements,
and agreed by the procurement panel. They will form the basis for assessing the
adequacy of suppliers’ technical specifications, provided in response to the technical
specification questionnaire.
It is important to have agreed on the performance specifications of the product as
they will be used in the adjudication against company specifications.
Requests for features which are supplier-specific are not permitted under the
regulations. Very specific features which are not supported by operational
requirements are also not allowed.
Award of contract
Following award of the contract to the successful supplier; unsuccessful suppliers
may need to be debriefed. This is at the supplier’s request.
CEP08046: December 2008
Appendix 2: EU procurement procedure
Buyers must be aware of the ‘Alcatel’ procedure (see the Trust Operational
Purchasing Procedures Manual [27], Procedure No.T-08, section 6 - ‘Mandatory
Standstill Period’).
For more information on procurement please refer to the Department of Health
Website [28].
CEP08046: December 2008
Appendix 3: Evaluation protocol
Evaluation protocol
To evaluate the syringe drivers/pumps, a survey of current users of these devices
was conducted. A user questionnaire was specially designed for this purpose (see
next page for an example). Around 25 centres across the UK that have experience in
using the syringe drivers in palliative care or oncology participated in this survey.
Usability assessment was conducted by eight participants comprising clinicians and
trained evaluators in one three-hour session. Participants performed predefined tasks
with each pump, and then completed the usability questionnaire. The tasks for
different pumps were designed slightly differently to reflect the functionality of each
Responses from the pumps’ current users were analysed and compared by using the
median of the data. Results for some parameters are reproduced in the Market
review under the title ‘User survey results’ using a five-point star rating.
The total usability score for each device was obtained via a mutual agreement
among all the participants of the usability session, and was originally based on the
median of the scores given independently by each participant for each device. The
results are reproduced in the Market review under ‘Panel assessment of usability,
using a five-star rating system. The task list and usability questionnaire for the AD
syringe driver is reproduced below.
CEP08046: December 2008
Appendix 3: Evaluation protocol
Ambulatory syringe drivers user questionnaire
General Information
Please specify the pump, from the given list, you are providing this feedback for.
(This form can be used for one pump brand only. Tick one box only and circle the pump(s) you have
used for that brand. Please, use another separate questionnaire form if you would like to provide a
feedback for any other brand).
CME McKinley (T34)
Micrel (Micropump MPmlh or MP101 or MPdaily)
Graseby (MS 26 or MS 16A)
Cardinal (Alaris AD syringe driver)
1. Are you using this pump on a trial basis?
2. How long have you used it?
3. Your clinical specialty?
4. How frequently do you use this pump in an average week?
5. What type of syringe do you use? (volume, brand):
6. What type of syringe extension set do you use?(type, brand):
7. What therapy do you
typically deliver with this
Drug type___________________________________
Total therapy duration (hours) ___________________
Pump Manufacturer
Tuition by a previously trained colleague
Tuition by a Trust-based trainer
Other (please specify)
9. Have you experienced any problems with this pump? (If so, please explain the problems)
8. Who gave you training to use the pump?
10. Who resolved the problem(s)?
(please, add details if multiple problems
have been resolved by different parties)
Solved yourself
Pump manufacturer/distributor
Other (please specify)
11. Do you have experience in using any other ambulatory pumps?
Yes (If so, which
12. General comments (please add any extra information that you feel is relevant – include an extra
sheet of paper if required)
CEP08046: December 2008
13. Operating manual / instructions
14. Training received
15. Pump:
Delivery accuracy
Noise level
16. Battery life
17. Setting the pump: Ease of syringe loading
Priming the line
Programming the rate
Programming the VTBI
Understanding the control panel
Pressing the keys
Reading information from display
18. Monitoring: Running indicator clarity
Display of flow rate
Display of infused volume
Alarm tone
19. Pump use:
Alarm appropriateness
Ease of moving around with the
pump for a patient
Safeguards against syringe
Safeguards against tampering
Prevention of overdoses
Ease of cleaning
Ease of charging battery
Ease of changing battery
Available carrying accessories
20. How well does the pump meet your patients’
21. Are there any features you would like to see added to this pump?
CEP08046: December 2008
Very good
Less than
Think about the syringe pump you are giving this
feedback for. For each question, tick the box that
best indicates your opinion.
Very poor
Appendix 3: Evaluation protocol
(use an extra sheet of
paper, if needed)
Appendix 3: Evaluation protocol
Evaluated function
Draw 17 ml of fluid into the
20 ml syringe, attach the set
and prime it to leave 14 ml
of fluid.
Attach the syringe to the
driver, put on the large cover
and lock the cover.
Very poor
Task list
Very good
Task list and usability questionnaire for the AD syringe driver
Ease of filling a syringe with a required volume
Ease of measuring the required volume of fluid
Ease of achieving the required volume after priming
Ease of attaching a syringe to the driver
Ease of securing the syringe
Quality of the syringe holding mechanism
Prevention of syringe displacing
Ease of powering ON (button pressing, logic)
Ease of battery charging
Ease of checking the remaining battery power
Switch the driver on. Reset
the total volume infused and
confirm the syringe (20 ml
Purge 0.2 ml using the
Ease of purging
Ease of controlling purged volume
Any comments related to setting up the driver:
Select the 24 h infusion
option, check the volume to
be infused, the rate and time
of infusion. Start the
Understanding the control panel
Ease of pressing the keys
Ease of reading the display
Ease of confirming the parameters of infusion
Ease of starting the infusion
Ease of navigating the menu
Ease of stopping the infusion
Ease of powering the driver off
Ease of reloading the syringe
Ease of setting up a new infusion
Stop the infusion, switch the
driver off and reload the
syringe for a new 24 hour
infusion. Start a new
Any comments related to setting up the infusion:
Any comments related to quality of the user instructions:
CEP08046: December 2008
Appendix 3: Evaluation protocol
Record the infusion rate,
volume left in the syringe
and time until the end of
Remaining volume:
Remaining time:
Ease of reading the flow rate
Ease of identifying syringe brand and size
Ease of verifying/confirming amount in syringe
Display of the infused volume is:
Display of the remaining volume to be infused is:
Display of the time left until the end of infusion is:
Clarity of the running infusion indicator
Clarity of the battery capacity indicator
Safeguard against syringe displacement
Safeguard against tampering
Prevention of overdoses (e.g. limits on flow rate)
Quality of the alarm tone/alarm messages
Ease of rectifying infusion after alarm
While infusing, try to
displace the syringe from its
position. Note any
messages given by the
driver. If the infusion
stopped, rectify the situation
and continue infusion.
Any comments related to monitoring and safety issues:
Lock the syringe cover, put
the running driver into the
carry bag provided and carry
it around for a few minutes.
Driver size
Driver weight
Ease of moving around with the driver
Ease of putting the driver into the carry bag
Ease of carrying the driver in the carry bag
Ease of monitoring infusion from the carry bag
Discreetness of the driver
Comfort of using the carry bag
Quality of the carry bag
Ease of removing the driver from the carry bag
Remove the driver from the
carry bag.
Any comments related to carrying the pump:
Pump physical design (e.g. weight, size, appearance, ease of handling)
Setting up the pump (e.g. battery charging, powering On/Off, syringe loading, purging)
Setting up the infusion (e.g. programming rate, buttons pressing, control panel navigation)
Monitoring infusion (e.g. flow rate, volume infused, remaining volume/time, battery capacity)
Safety (e.g. clarity of running infusion/battery capacity, syringe displacement prevention, lock box,
key pad lock, alarm tone/messages, safeguards against tampering, prevention of overdoses)
Carrying the pump (e.g. comfort, accessories quality, discreetness)
User instructions (e.g. quality of user instructions, content/index page, diagrams, warnings)
Overall comments:
CEP08046: December 2008
Author and report information
Buyers’ guide:
Ambulatory syringe drivers
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Elena Skryabina, Jennifer Chan
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About CEP
The Centre for Evidence-based
Purchasing (CEP) is part of the Policy
and Innovation Directorate of the NHS
Purchasing and Supply Agency. We
underpin purchasing decisions by
providing objective evidence to support
the uptake of useful, safe and
innovative products and related
procedures in health and social care.
We are here to help you make
informed purchasing decisions by
gathering evidence globally to support
the use of innovative technologies,
assess value and cost effectiveness of
products, and develop nationally
agreed protocols.
CEP08046: December 2008
Centre for Evidence-based Purchasing
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Fax: 020 7975 5795
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