Robot will be preparing IVs at Primary Children's

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Beginning next week, patients at Primary Children's Medical Center may be getting their life-saving IV's prepared by a highly sophisticated robot called RIVA (Robotic IV Automation).

Fifteen-day-old Hand Goedhart gets three different IVs that were traditionally prepared by human hands. Pharmacists gowned, gloved and masked in a special clean room custom make IVs for children. That's because a lot of drugs are not made in pediatric doses.

Robot will be preparing IVs at Primary Children's

Pharmacy director at Primary Children's Medical Center Kevin Jones said, "And a lot of the adult doses are 10, even 100-fold greater than the pediatric doses."

But soon, upwards of more than 800 hundred IVs will be prepared daily, by something, not someone, very special. Meet RIVA, or Robotic IV Automation. So far, it's only the second of its kind to be installed in this country.

Within a cell more sterile than an OR, RIVA measures, injects, labels and delivers finished IV's in both syringes and bags. There are no mistakes, no risk of contamination and no waste.

Robot will be preparing IVs at Primary Children's

Jones said, "It verifies it by bar code. It takes a photograph of that, and it also measures the size of the vial neck."

It knows exactly what it's filling, and the precision in micro-measurements guarantees what a young patient is getting.

For our demonstration, we were allowed to walk inside the room; but come next week when the robot is fully operational, even the area outside the robot will be off limits.

The machine sterilizes specific ports with pulse UV light. It could save Primary a half million dollars per year since, under the hand method, unused IV drugs have to be thrown out within a week. The robot's IVs keep 30 to 60 days.

RIVA's price tag is about $1 million, but Primary expects it will pay for itself in safety and drug costs within two years. Kevin Jones says a second robot to prepare chemo drugs for cancer patients may be just around the corner.


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Ed Yeates


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