If you have been fitted with a programmable drug infusion system, you are receiving what is called intrathecal drug delivery. This enables medication to be delivered selectively into the fluid that surrounds the spinal cord.
There are some important things you need to remember when using one of these systems – please read through the frequently asked questions below about using your programmable drug infusion system.
Always talk to your doctor if you have any queries about using your programmable drug infusion system safely or if there are any changes in your condition.
Information contained here does not replace the recommendations of your healthcare professional. See the device manual for detailed information regarding the instructions for use, indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and potential adverse events. For further information, contact your healthcare professional.
Before engaging in activities (for example, hiking or skiing in the mountains) at altitudes greater than 2,438 meters, discuss the effects of low pressure with your doctor.
Patients who live or travel at high altitudes are exposed to lower air pressures. With continued exposure to lower air pressure, the flow rate of the pump may increase and then stay at the higher flow rate. If your doctor determines that such an increase in flow rate might pose an undue risk to you, your doctor can adjust your prescription to offset the higher flow rate.
In rare instances, exposure to lower pressures can cause the flow rate of the pump to exceed the programmed flow rate by more than 14.5% while the patient is exposed to the lower pressures. The infusion prescription can be changed for patients who will be exposed to lower pressures.
If the temperature of a hot tub, hot shower, steam room, sauna or tanning bed is greater than 39 °C, you should not use it.
The flow rate of the pump will vary with body temperature. The flow rate increases as the temperature increases. If the increase is significant, the pump can deliver too much medication. This may lead to serious injury or death.
Avoid activities that put undue stress on the implanted components of your infusion system.
Activities that include sudden, excessive, or repetitive bending, twisting, bouncing, or stretching can damage the components or cause the catheter to dislodge. This can require surgery to repair or replace the components. The catheter could also become kinked or blocked.
Catheter disconnection and kinking can result in drug or spinal fluid leakage into tissue and tissue damage, or a loss of or change in therapy that can lead to serious injury or death.
Yes. Security devices and metal detectors won’t damage your pump, but the metal in the pump may set them off.
You can reduce chances of setting off a security device alarm by not lingering near or leaning on security screening devices such as those found in airports, libraries, and some department stores .
If you do set off a device, show your Medtronic Device ID card to security personnel.
No. Do not manipulate or rub the pump or catheter through the skin; this is sometimes called “Twiddler’s syndrome”. Manipulation can cause skin erosion, component damage, catheter disconnection, kinking or dislodgement.
Damage to the components of your infusion system can require surgery to repair or replace the components. Catheter disconnection and kinking can result in drug or spinal fluid leakage into tissue and tissue damage, or a loss of or change in therapy that can lead to serious injury or death. Manipulation may also cause the pump to flip over, making it impossible to refill the pump.
You should attend scheduled visits for refills and prescription adjustments. If you don’t return to the clinic for refills at the prescribed times, the actual flow rate of the pump could drop, resulting in a loss of or change in therapy that can lead to serious injury or death.
Failure to return at the prescribed times can also damage the pump and require surgery to replace the pump.
The pump has a service life of at least 5 years operation up to a 0.910 mL/day flow rate from the day of implant until it reaches its end of service. Your doctor or nurse uses a clinician programmer to check the pump battery charge level. When the battery starts to run down, your doctor will schedule a pump replacement.
Pumps may also need to be replaced if the pump has mechanical problems or there are complications with the catheter.
Repairing or replacing a pump or catheter requires surgery.
The pump is designed to not interfere with most common household appliances such as microwave ovens, TV, radios and mobile phones.
Exercise care and avoid prolonged exposure to the following equipment or environments. If you suspect that prolonged exposure to equipment is interfering with the pump, you should do the following:
- Move away from the equipment or object.
- If possible, turn OFF the equipment or object.
- Inform the equipment owner or operator of the occurrence.
If the above actions do not resolve the effects of the interference, or you suspect that your therapy is not the same after exposure, you should contact your doctor.
Yes. It is OK to undergo medical exams, including MRI with the pump as long as you inform your medical team.
Pump performance has not been established for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners at fields greater than 3.0 T (Tesla). Patients with pumps should not have an MRI using greater than 3.0 T scanners. Testing has only been done on horizontal, closed-bore MRI scanners. Other MRI scanners, such as open-sided and standing MRIs, have not been tested. You should inform the doctor who manages your pump if you are going to have an MRI. Your doctor will recommend whether or not an MRI is appropriate for you.
The following medical procedures is unlikely to affect your infusion system:
- Computerised axial tomography (CT or CAT) scans
- Diagnostic ultrasound (eg, carotid scan, doppler studies)
- Diagnostic X-rays or fluoroscopy
- Magnetoencephalography (MEG)
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scans. Note: To minimise potential image distortion, the transducer must be kept 15 cm (6 in) away from the infusion system