ECRI Institute, Plymouth Meeting, Pa, an independent, nonprofit group that researches improvements in patient care, has issued a priority medical-device alert recommending immediate volume testing of the 2000 CMS, 4000 CMS, 6000 CMS, and PainSmart series pumps from Curlin Medical, Huntington Beach, Calif, due to potential life-threatening over-infusion of medications.
The pumps are used in hospitals and home health care settings.

During testing, engineers at the group’s medical-device lab found doors on the pumps did not fully compress tubing during operation, which may result in intermittent gravity flow and the release of medication too quickly. 

There may be no visible indication that a pump permits gravity flow, and volume testing may be the only way to determine if a particular pump has a door problem, the organization says. It recommends immediately identifying and testing all Curlin pumps and establishing a policy of regular volume testing for the units every 3 months.