Pressure Bag (Pressure Pump)

What is a pressure bag or pressure pump?

A pressure bag, also called a pressure pump, is a special bag used with an IV bag. The IV bag contains fluids (blood, medications or nutrients) and connects via IV tubing to an IV line in the patient. IV fluids normally drip into the IV line. The pressure pump is used to help the IV fluids either run faster or continuously flow into the patient.

When is a pressure bag used?

A pressure bag is used when a critically ill or injured patient requires a rapid administration of fluids or blood products because of an emergency situation, such as low blood pressure or bleeding. The IV fluids or blood products can be given much more quickly when a pressure bag is used. The pressure bag is wrapped around the IV bag and inflated with a hand held pump to a desired and measured pressure. The increased pressure surrounding the fluids causes them to flow faster into the patient.

What are the potential complications of using the pressure bag?

The pressure can burst the IV bag. If this rare event occurs, it causes no harm to the patient.

IV bag (not visible) inside larger, inflated pressure bag (pressure pump)