Published: March 2011

Syringe driver pumps - clearing up the confusion

Information on this subject has been updated. Read the most recent information.

Prescriber Update 32(1): 5
March 2011

Medsafe is working with DHBNZ and the Syringe Driver Advisory Group to minimise the disruption associated with the replacement of Graseby syringe drivers.

The inconvenience and confusion caused by having three syringe driver pumps in circulation is unfortunate and unforseen. Primarily this situation has occurred due to problems that were not anticipated by the manufacturer of the replacement device initially selected.

The supply agreement for replacing Graseby syringe drivers has now been reassigned to REM Systems, supplying the Niki T34 pumps. Medsafe has requested that REM systems ensure all Graseby syringe drivers are replaced by 30 June 2011. Organisations that have already purchased AD pumps will have these replaced with Niki T34 pumps at no charge.

The June 2011 deadline means Graseby syringe drivers will not be removed without a suitable replacement being available. Once completed all palliative care organisations will be operating on a common hardware platform, which should reduce the potential for user confusion, errors and adverse events.

Medsafe first raised safety concerns about Graseby syringe drivers in 2007. Concerns related to the use of non-standard units of measure leading to errors, and a lack of alarms. The sale of Graseby MS series syringe drivers has now ceased in both New Zealand and Australia.

Healthcare professionals will continue to be regularly updated with information about the replacement of Graseby syringe drivers to prevent any further confusion and misinformation being disseminated. Any questions or concerns about replacement syringe driver pumps should be directed to Garth Blake, Project Manager, Health Benefits Ltd (