Priming fluid in pump oxygenators therapy

Priming Fluid in Pump Oxygenators Therapy

Pump oxygenators are a form of therapy that is widely used in neonatal, pediatric and adult intensive care units. It is designed for the delivery of oxygen and the maintenance of correct CO2 levels in a patient’s blood. The pump oxygenators further assist the patient’s heart and lungs to work together in regulating the body’s oxygen and carbon dioxide levels.

A pump oxygenator is a form of mechanical ventilation therapy in which oxygen is pushed through a system to the patient. The primary operating component of a pump oxygenator therapy system is the fluid conductor, which maintains a constant supply of oxygen and carbon dioxide to the patient. It consists of a pump, an oxygenator, a gas exchange membrane, a bubble detector, a heater, a reducer, and a pressure regulator.

In order to ensure proper operation of the oxygenator, the pump oxygenator must be properly primed before using it. Priming is the process of filling the oxygenator will a special solution, called priming fluid, which in the case of pump oxygenators, consists of specialized solutions to promote gas exchange between the oxygenator and the bloodstream.

Purpose of Priming fluid

Priming fluid is used in the oxygenator to keep it functioning properly by aiding with blood components settling in on the surface of the oxygenator membrane and preventing air embolism. The fluid also helps reduce friction and heat transfer from the blood to the oxygenator, allowing the pump to function more effectively. Further, the priming fluid helps remove any air bubbles from the system, as air bubbles can cause serious problems for a patient receiving an oxygenator therapy.

Types of Priming Fluids

  • Gelatin-based priming fluid: This type of priming fluid is composed of non-fibrin forming proteins, which are commonly derived from collagen or gelatin.
  • Iso-osmolar priming fluid: This type of priming fluid is an alternative to gelatin-based priming fluid. It is designed to minimize contact of foreign substances with the pump oxygenator and reduce the possibility of an inflammatory response.
  • Heparin-based priming fluid: This type of priming fluid is composed of heparin, a protein responsible for reducing blood clotting. This type of priming fluid is used to prevent any possible microembolism, which can be caused by particles in the priming fluid.
  • Lactated Ringer's solution: This type of priming fluid is composed of electrolytes and lactic acid, and is used to maintain adequate fluid balance in the oxygenator.

In addition to the types of priming fluids mentioned above, there are also a number of other specialised solutions designed for different medical procedures. Pump oxygenators are an important form of therapy and priming fluid is an integral part of its successful application. As such, great care must be taken when administering priming fluid to achieve the maximum benefit from the therapy.