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The following are a list of FAQs.

These are meant to be responses to commonly asked questions and are not intended to replace any physician instructions. If you have any questions with your product please don’t hesitate to call our 24 hour Product hotline at 1.800.444.2728 and have the nurse on call paged. If you have medical questions you should call your surgeon or anesthesiologist. If you think you are experiencing a medical emergency you should dial 911.

How can I tell if my pump is working?

The ON-Q* pumps flow at various flow rates as prescribed by your surgeon or anesthesiologist.  After 24 hours of infusion enough of the medication should be emptied from the pump to start to seeing wrinkling in the outer cover of the balloon.  The outer cover will appear bigger as the pump ball gets smaller. When the pump is filled originally by pharmacy, there are no wrinkles at all in that outer cover.  Always check the white clamps on the tubing and make sure that they are not crimped along the line.   If it’s been 24 hours and you don’t notice wrinkles please call our 24 hour Product Support Hotline at 1.800.444.2728 and have the on call nurse paged.

The tubing is clear and I cannot see medication flowing through the tubing. Do I need to do anything?

The pump flows at a very slow, constant rate and you will not see medication dripping or moving through the tubing.  Please check clamp(s) to make sure that they are open and move freely up and down the tubing.  If you are using ice or cold therapy, place it away from the flow controller on the pump tubing.

I am in pain, is the pump working?

The ON-Q* pump is not meant to be the single answer for your pain control. Please follow your doctors’ instructions on pain medication and dosing. The pump is meant to be used in conjunction with the other medications that have been prescribed by your physician. The pump is intended to decrease your overall need for narcotics.

My pump has the Select-A-Flow* dial, can I adjust it?

Please follow the instructions given to you at discharge by your doctor on whether or not they want you to adjust the pump on your own.

Is my pump empty?

You will know that your pump is empty when the pain pump is not in the shape of a ball anymore.  When it is completely empty, the inner balloon will not be a round ball of any size. (It will resemble an apple core.)

What do I need to do to turn the pump on?

Once the pump is filled it will automatically start infusing. You should check to make sure that the clamp(s) are open and that there are no kinks in the tubing.

The catheter is brown with black spots. Is this normal?

Some of the catheters have a special coating and are amber in color. The black spots are markings on the catheter itself. If you have concerns about your catheter, please contact the product support hotline: 1.800.444.2728.



Learn More

To learn more about the ON-Q* Pain Relief System, download a brochure.


For questions to ask your doctor,
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Call Us

For questions about ON-Q* please call us