Objective: To evaluate the accuracy of ACCUFLOW an infusion rate monitor as compared to manual reading in pediatric surgical patients.
Methods: An observational study in 47 pediatric patients undergoing elective surgical procedures and needing an intravenous fluid with expected duration of infusion of at least one hour. The infusion rate was adjusted to the required flow rate with the help of the display on the ACCUFLOW. The flow rate as indicated by the ACCUFLOW display was checked every 15 minutes till the end of one hour. A simultaneous record of manual readings was also made.
Results: A total of 470 observations were made over the one hour observation period. The infusion rate as observed on the LCD display of the ACCUFLOW compared well with manual reading. A Bland Altman analysis showed the bias between the readings with the two methods to be very small and that there is no significant difference between the methods over the drop rate of 61-74 drops/min. In addition an alarm was heard in 9 cases. The alarm was mainly because of no flow or excess flow (3 cases each). Other causes for the alarm included slow flow, faulty i.v. lines showing fluctuations in flow rate and drip chamber not placed properly (1 patient each).
Conclusion: ACCUFLOW is a low cost device that can be used to adjust and monitor the infusion flow rate. The alarm would alert the nursing staff when there is deviation from the preset rate of infusion. ACCUFLOW could thus be an attractive option for infusion rate monitoring in developing countries with limited healthcare resources and skewed patient nurse ratios. However applicability to infants and younger children and for longer infusions needs to be determined.