Letter to the editor

Editor, I refer to the article 'Infusion pumps: guidelines and pitfalls' by Mr R. Ferrari and Dr D. Beech (Aust Prescr 1995;18:49-51).

I have seen an inexpensive controlled rate infusion device which may be useful in palliative care. The device is a silastic bulb which is pre filled with the medication in solution, and connected to the infusion needle (whether subcutaneous, or into an intravenous sidearm) by the special rate controlling connector. The cost of each device is so low that they are disposable.

I would like to know why this equipment was not discussed in the article.

Hugh Nelson
General Practitioner
Helensvale, Qld

Editor's note: Dr Nelson's letter was the first letter to the Editor to be received via electronic mail.


Authors' comments

Mr R. Ferrari and Dr D. Beech, the authors of the article, comment:We appreciate the comments from Dr Nelson on 'calibrated bore flow restricted infusion devices' or, more commonly, elastomeric pumps. Our main intention was to address some very common problems with electromechanical pumps, so other drug delivery systems such as elastomeric pumps and implantable pumps were not included in the article. Elastomeric pumps, including spring driven pumps, have been extensively marketed overseas and some models have been available in Australia for several years.

The Editorial Executive Committee welcomes letters, which should be less than 250 words. Before a decision to publish is made, letters which refer to a published article may be sent to the author for a response. Any letter may be sent to an expert for comment. When letters are published, they are usually accompanied in the same issue by their responses or comments. The Committee screens out discourteous, inaccurate or libellous statements. The letters are sub-edited before publication. Authors are required to declare any conflicts of interest. The Committee's decision on publication is final.

Hugh Nelson

General Practitioner, Helensvale, Qld

R. Ferrari

Therapeutic Devices Branch, Therapeutic Goods Administration, Canberra

D.R. Beech

Therapeutic Devices Branch, Therapeutic Goods Administration, Canberra