Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Background: Laboratory data suggest that newly initiated drug infusions reach steady-state delivery after a significant time lag. Depending on drug and carrier flow rates and the infusion system's common volume, lag times may exceed 20 or more minutes, especially in the neonatal/ pediatric critical care environment. This study tested the hypothesis that a computerexecuted algorithm controlling infusion pumps in a coordinated fashion predictably hastens the achievement of the intended steady-state drug delivery in a model of neonatal/pediatric drug infusion. Methods: We constructed an in vitro model of neonatal/pediatric drug infusions through a pediatric 4-Fr central venous catheter at total system flows of 2 mL/h or 12 mL/h, representing a clinically relevant infusion range. Methylene blue served as the model infused drug for quantitative analysis. A novel algorithm, based on Taylor Dispersion Theory of fluid flow through tubes and executed by a computer, generated flow patterns that controlled and coordinated drug and carrier delivery by syringe pumps. We measured the time to achieve the intended steady-state drug delivery by conventional initiation of the drug infusion ("turning on the drug pump") and by algorithm-controlled infusion initiation. Results: At 2 mL/h total system flow, application of the algorithm reduced the time to achieve half of the intended drug delivery rate (T50) from 17 minutes [17, 18] to 3 minutes [3, 3] (median, interquartile range). At 12 mL/h total system flow, application of the algorithm reduced T50 from 6 minutes [6, 7] to 3 minutes [3, 3] The bootstrapped median difference is -14 (95% confidence interval [CI], -16 to -12, adjusted P=.00192) for 2 mL/h flow and -3 (95% CI, -4 to -3, adjusted P=.02061) for 12 mL/h flow. Compared with conventional initiation, the additional fluid required by the algorithm-directed infusion was 0.43 and 1.03 mL for the low- and high-infusion rates, respectively. Conclusions: The output of infusion pumps can be predictably controlled and coordinated by a computer-executed algorithm in a model of neonatal/pediatric drug infusions. Application of an algorithm can reduce the time to achieve the intended rate of infused drug delivery with minimal incremental volume administration.

Original publication




Journal article


Anesthesia and Analgesia

Publication Date





1129 - 1134