What's A Zofran Pump?

This post is going to be boring. And it may gross a couple of you out. I'm sorry. But I'm going to write it anyway.

When I was told I was getting a Zofran pump I had no idea what it was, or how it would work, or what I would have to do with it. Even searching the web brought up very little information. Or, I could find information but no pictures.

Of course, there's also the possibility I didn't look hard enough. Or searched the wrong words. I hadn't been eating for a while, and my brain... well... mush.

So I'm writing this (quite possibly unnecessary) post (and including some pictures) so that anyone else looking for information might have an easier time finding it.

If that sounds like a snooze fest to you, go ahead and stop here, really. I don't mind.


How to use the Zofran pump.

These are the pieces you'll deal with. The pump itself, syringes of medication, plastic tubing, the introducer needle and catheter, and alcohol swabs. Also that little blue thing I have no name for. I'll show you how to use it though.


For the sake of brevity - and because if you're getting a Zofran pump your nurse will teach you how to properly do this - here is a picture of how all the pieces go together. See the little blue thing? It protects the part that hooks up to the catheter.


The part you're probably most concerned about is the introducer needle. And I won't lie, it's a little creepy the first few times. I had to take a few deep breaths the first time I used it.

This is what it looks like right out of the package.


You hold the little grippy part and peel the backing off the adhesive, and then pop off the plastic sleeve protecting the needle.


And then you pinch a good chunk of your abdomen (that you've previous cleaned with the alcohol pads).


And then you just push the needle in. I promise you, it doesn't really hurt. It doesn't even feel like a bee sting. It just pinches. Once or twice I haven't even felt it. It does take a few seconds though. It's not like you can jab it in.


Then you hold the adhesive down for about ten seconds, and let it get good and stuck. Pinch the little prongs together to remove the needle, leaving the catheter in your tissue.


Now remove the dark blue sleeve from the little hook-up portion there, and attach it to the catheter. You hear two clicks to indicate it's in place.


And now you're all hooked up and can start your pump back up.


You're done! Pop the pump back in it's carrying case, and you can take a break from sticking yourself for two days. Just change the syringe when it's empty.

And that's how you use a Zofran pump.

Really, it's not awful. It's kind of a pain to change the syringe or the battery in the middle of the night - and I have had one site go bad (that's what the band-aid is covering). I can feel little knots of medication left under my skin at each injection site - but they do get smaller and smaller, and eventually go away. There is some tenderness and bruising, but that seems to be getting better and better as time passes too.

The biggest bummer is that you can't take a bath. You can shower - they'll give you a little plastic sleeve to protect the pump - but the site can't be submerged. I miss baths. Still. Small price to pay.

I hope someone finds this helpful. Otherwise there are just pictures of me pinching my gut on the internet.


(Other tags, for search engines. Hyperemesis, hyperemesis gravidarum, zofran pump pictures, zofran pump pregnancy, zofran pump how to, what is a zofran pump.)


Katrina said...

Actually this is good information and I'm sure someone else will find it helpful too. I didn't know something like this existed. Not fun but beats being in the hospital! I didn't know there was something that could be injected at home to stop nausea. I could have used something like that a number of times this year, and no I'm not talking about curing the flu. I mean no illness but I can't stop vomiting and on count down to go to the hospital - can't even keep down the prescription anti-nausea meds kind of days.

I really hope this makes life ok for you.

miannr said...

Thank you sooo much for your post. I suffered from HG through my first three pregnancies, and i just cant do it this time. I am looking for options and i am hoping my doc will consider this treatment for me. I will be calling them on Monday. I have a great fear of needles but my fear of retching and heaving all day is much greater. Thank you again for this post it is very informative and even kind of soothing. #6weeks and counting :)

SheriMarie said...

Actually I get my zofran pump tomorrow... this post helped me a lot! Thank you!

Krista Jeschke said...

My doctor said that if my current medication doesn't work I will have to be put on a zofran pump...I'm doing my best to avoid it because it honestly scares me. >_<

anu said...

Hi there,
this post is so very helpful. My doc had suggested I take the zofran pump and IV fluids. I read your blog yesterday, so was kind of prepared. But the needle freaked me out.
Today my pump came and I was very nervous. The nurse was too good. she was patient and answered all questions. I have to agree with you. the needle does not hurt at all.
Thanks a lot.


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