Takeshi Ando, Noriyoshi Tanaka, Kenji Yamada, and Yuko Ohno
Errors in intravenous infusion rates are common at hospitals. A previous study found that actual infusion rates differ significantly from those instructed by doctors. The technique used to adjust the drip rate using a watch is a difficult skill to learn. In this article, we present our recently developed drip adjuster, which makes it easier for a nurse, for example, to adjust the drip rate using an LED display controlled by an Arduino microcontroller. We analyzed a high-speed video of falling infusion drops and imitated dripping by changing the brightness and positioning of light displayed by a row of five LEDs, enabling nurses to easily synchronize LED lighting with the growth and falling of droplets. We then evaluated the accuracy of the drip rate when six nurses used the drip adjuster versus using a watch. We found a significant difference in accuracy between the two methods, with a dramatic increase from 40% accuracy using a watch to 83% accuracy using the drip adjuster in the achievement of an accurate drip rate. The drip adjuster is a simple, effective device that can be used to assist in adjusting the drip rates of intravenous infusions.
Keywords: nurse, infusion, medical error, safety management, light navigation