The frequency of pump refills varies from weeks to months depending on the medication. Pumps are refilled by inserting a needle through the skin into the pump’s self-sealing silicone septum. Pumps are scheduled to be refilled in an outpatient clinic in advance of the pump’s expected low volume alarm.
Medtronic recommends that clinicians refrain from depending solely on the pump alarm to determine refill intervals or remaining battery life. Some hearing-impaired patients may not hear the alarm, or the pump may be implanted too deep to adequately hear the alarm.
The refill procedure involves a specific set of tasks that must be followed precisely to help ensure patient safety. Before clinicians perform refills, they must be well trained in the correct procedures.
Morphine remains stable in the pump for up to 90 days following refill.