1. An apparatus that transfers fluids or gases by pressure or suction.
2. To force air or fluid along a certain pathway, as the heart does to blood.

air pump

An obsolete device for forcing air in or out of a chamber.

blood pump

1. A device for pumping blood. It is attached to an extracorporeal circulation system.
2. A compression sleeve placed about a plastic transfusion bag.

breast pump

An apparatus for expressing milk from the human breast.

efflux pump

A cell membrane protein channel that selectively admits or excludes chemicals from the cytoplasm. In some bacteria efflux pumps prevent their cells from accumulating antibiotics, contributing to drug resistance.

electronic implantable infusion pump

ABBR: EIIP A type of infusion pump inserted in the body. The pump, which may be programmable or nonprogrammable, is placed in a subcutaneous pocket and is connected to a dedicated catheter leading to the appropriate compartment or site.

infusion pump

A pump to administer fluids into an artery, vein, or enteral tube, beneficial in overcoming arterial resistance, controlling the rate of the fluid and drug administration, or administering thick solutions. The pump can be programmed to set the rate of administration depending on the patient's needs.
SEE: ; electronic infusion device
SYN: intravenous infusion pump

Video for Infusion Pump

insulin pump

A small battery-driven pump that delivers insulin subcutaneously into the abdominal wall. The pump can be programmed to deliver varying doses of insulin as a patient's need for insulin changes during the day (e.g., before exercise or meals, when physical or psychological levels of stress change).


intra-aortic balloon pump

SEE: Intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation.

intravenous pump

ABBR: IV pump A device for monitoring intravenous infusions. They are made by many different manufacturers, with various options including different programmable infusion rates (mL/hr, mcg/kg/min, mg/hr, mg/min), volumes, and alarm features. The device may have an alarm in case the flow is restricted because of an occlusion of the line. In that case, the alarm will sound when a preset pressure limit is sensed. The device can also signal that an infusion is close to completion. The pressure is regulated by the height at which the container is positioned above the level of the heart when the patient is lying flat. A height of 36 in (91 cm) provides a pressure of 1.3 lb/sq in (70 mm Hg). Most IV pumps are equipped to stop the flow of the infused liquid if accidental free flow occurs.
SYN: electronic infusion device

intravenous infusion pump

SEE: Infusion pump.

lymphedema pump

A pneumatic compression device for application to an edematous limb. It works best when combined with elevation of the limb and manual massage. The device, which may be single-chambered or multichambered, is designed to provide calibrated, sequential pressure to the extremity. This action “milks” edema fluid from the extremity. It is essential that the device be used in the early phase of the development of lymphedema. If the affected lymph vessels develop fibrotic changes, i.e., scar tissue, then pneumatic compression devices are of questionable benefit.

proton pump

An enzyme located in the parietal cell of the stomach that excretes hydrogen ions in exchange for potassium ions. The formal name of the proton pump is hydrogen/potassium adenosine triphosphate (H+/K+ATPase).

Gastric acids produced by the proton pump aid chemical digestion of foods. Some diseases and conditions are worsened by acid in the stomach (e.g., peptic ulcers, acid reflux disease). Drugs that inhibit the proton pump (proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole) are used to treat these illnesses.

respiratory pump

Those abdominal and thoracic structures that contribute to the expansion and contraction of the lungs. Movement of the chest and abdomen alters central pressures during inspiration and expiration. During inspiration, decreases in intrathoracic pressure draw air into the trachea, bronchi, and lungs and draw blood into the vena cava and right atrium of the heart. During expiration, intrathoracic pressures rise, and air is forced out of the lungs.

sodium pump

The active transport mechanism that moves sodium ions across a membrane to their area of greater concentration. In neurons and muscle cells, this is outside the cell. In many cells, the sodium pump is linked with the potassium pump that transports potassium ions into the cell, also against a concentration gradient, and may be called the sodium-potassium pump. In neurons and muscle fibers, this pump maintains the polarization of the membrane.

Video for Sodium-Potassium Pump

smart pump

A programmable infusion device used to control and administer intravenous drugs and limit medication administration errors. Its software may include some or all of the following features: infusion rate programming; dosing limit lockout features; configurations for specific hospital areas (pediatric dosing versus adult or intensive care unit dosing); surgical or anesthetic drug libraries; controls for patient-controlled analgesia; and alert features (alarms or messages that notify users of possible medication errors).

stomach pump

A colloquial term for gastric lavage.

thoracic pump

The negative pressure in the chest during inspiration that pulls venous blood into the vena cava and right side of the heart so that it can circulate to the lungs.

venous plexus foot pump

A device that alternates between applying pressure and no pressure on the sole of the foot. The change in pressure allows venous blood vessels to alternately fill and then empty, thus imitating the effects of walking on the veins of the lower extremities. The pump is used to prevent deep vein thromboses (DVTs) in patients at high risk because of a previous history of DVTs, hypercoagulable states, or prolonged bedrest.

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