Download and print as a PDF (363kB pdf)
What is the T34™ Ambulatory syringe pump?
The T34™ is a battery powered pump that drives a syringe. It is designed to administer your medications slowly over a 24-hour period. The medicines are given via thin tubing, attached to a small needle placed in the fatty layer beneath the skin in your tummy, arm or leg. This allows the medicine to be absorbed into the bloodstream throughout the day. A photograph of a syringe pump in a lockable safety box is on the front cover of the leaflet. It is a little larger than your outstretched hand in size.
Why do I need the syringe pump?
There are many reasons why you may have been given the syringe pump. It could be because you have difficulty taking your medication, such as problems with your swallowing, feeling sick or vomiting, sleeping for most of the day or if there are difficulties managing your symptoms with tablets alone. The pump allows you to continue receiving benefit from certain medications without swallowing tablets or having several injections every day.
What are the advantages of the syringe pump?
The syringe pump allows several medications to be given at the same time, and the constant rate of their administration can help in getting the best possible control of your symptoms. The machine is lightweight, portable and can be placed in a small bag.
How often will my syringe pump be checked?
If you are in hospital, the syringe pump will be checked regularly. If you are in the community, a nurse will pay you a visit every day to check your syringe pump is working properly and whether the needle needs to be changed. In addition wherever you are, a nurse will replace the medications in the syringe every day and a doctor will review the doses and the need for your medications on a regular basis.
How do I know if my syringe pump is working?
There is a light on the syringe pump above the ON/OFF button that will flash green approximately every minute when it is working. If this light flashes red there may be a problem with the device and you should contact your nurse as soon as possible.
How should I take care of my syringe pump?
Wherever possible, keep the pump dry and the insertion site of the needle in your skin dry. Do not submerge the pump in water, and take care when showering with the device. Try to keep the pump out of direct sunlight and away from anything hot, such as a hot water bottle, as this may cause the pump to stop working.
When should I contact the nurse?
- If the light flashes red or the alarm sounds.
- If the device gets wet.
- If you drop the device.
- If the colour of the medicine changes or becomes cloudy.
- If the skin around the insertion site becomes red, sore or swollen.
- If the needle site begins to leak or falls out.
- If the tubing becomes disconnected.
If you are in hospital, call for your nurse immediately.
If you are at home, phone your community nurse or the out-of-hours service as soon as possible.
For more information please contact to the hospital specialist palliative care team 01273 523021, your ward nurse or speak to your community nurse.
The information in this leaflet is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.