This article describes the design and evaluation of AutoSyP, a low-cost, low-power syringe pump intended to deliver intravenous (IV) infusions in low-resource hospitals. A constant-force spring within the device provides mechanical energy to depress the syringe plunger. As a result, the device can run on rechargeable battery power for 66 hours, a critical feature for low-resource settings where the power grid may be unreliable. The device is designed to be used with 5- to 60-mL syringes and can deliver fluids at flow rates ranging from 3 to 60 mL/hour. The cost of goods to build one AutoSyP device is approximately $500. AutoSyP was tested in a laboratory setting and in a pilot clinical study. Laboratory accuracy was within 4% of the programmed flow rate. The device was used to deliver fluid to 10 healthy adult volunteers and 30 infants requiring IV fluid therapy at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. The device delivered fluid with an average mean flow rate error of -2.3% ± 1.9% for flow rates ranging from 3 to 60 mL/hour. AutoSyP has the potential to improve the accuracy and safety of IV fluid delivery in low-resource settings.
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