Yesterday we got called in for my baclofen pump refill. We went into a special procedure suite in the Parkside Center and that is when the interesting stuff started.
Once I was situated on the procedure table they pulled out the programmer and interrogated the pump, in other words they read any information stored in the pump. Today the most important parameter is volume remaining. Once read they prep the site with Betadine.
22 Gauge Huber Point Needle
Next after they prepped the site they used a Huber point needle, like the one shown above. This type of needle reduces coring in a self sealing septum, such as the Baclofen pump’s access port. Coring in a septum is bad. This was actually a surprisingly low pain experience, my theory is both because of the intrinsic design that the needle more slices instead of pierces, and also the fact that the nerves are severed in the skin upon insertion of the pump. The needle used today was a 22 gauge. Which is the average size that is used for pediatrics.
Once they inserted the needle and infusion set they attached a syringe and drew all of the remaining Baclofen and fluids from the pump. Once done they measured it and then prepared the baclofen to be infused. They attached a special filter to the syringe and then began infusing 40ml of Baclofen. Once done they removed the needle, and they removed the Betadine using alcohol. Then they went in and updated the pump with the programmer, my dose was not increased today since the neurosurgeon was not there today.
We also updated my Baclofen pump alarm interval to a new standard, every 10 minutes for critical and every hour for non critical. We also tested the alarms. The critical alarm is a two tone square tooth alarm, low-high and repeating for up to 1 minute. For non critical alarms monotone square tooth alarm is heard at a mid range pitch and repeating for up to 1 minute.
If you hear ANY of the above alarms coming from your pump call your implanting physician right away. If you are hearing the CRITICAL (Two Tone) alarm go to an emergency room!
And now time for the legal schpiel!
This post is not intended as medical advice. I disclaim any liability for any injury from following above information.