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How to Give Deferoxamine with the Crono™ Pump

Your doctor has decided to give a medicine called deferoxamine (Desferal®). This medicine helps to get rid of some excess iron that has built up in your child’s body. Deferoxamine binds with iron and helps remove it from the body. The medicine is given as an infusion into the fatty part of the skin over several hours.

Get ready

  • Wash your hands with soap and water. Dry them well. Or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Clean a workspace with an alcohol prep pad. Throw away the pad.
  • Gather the supplies and open them onto this workspace.

Supplies needed

  • Syringe that has deferoxamine
  • Subcutaneous (sub-Q) needle infusion set
  • Alcohol pads
  • Crono™ pump
  • Bio-occlusive dressing (clear plastic, protective dressing that is sticky on one side)
  • Tape
  • Sharps container
  • Pouch
  • CR 123A 3V-Lithium battery
  • If needed to numb the skin: EMLA cream and a bio-occlusive dressing. Apply 30–60 minutes before starting the infusion procedure.

The pump battery should last about 150 infusions. When the battery gets low, call St. Jude Home Infusion Services at 901-595-7464. The following is a link to the Crono Website Patient Educational Resources, operator’s manual.

To begin

  1. Read the label on the deferoxamine for the correct name, dose, expiration date, and instructions.
  2. Wash your hands again.
  3. Remove the sterile cap from the deferoxamine syringe. Do not touch the sterile end of the syringe and do not lay it down.
  4. Secure the syringe to the pigtail of the sub-Q needle set. Leave the needle covered at this time.
  5. Load syringe into the Crono™ pump.
    • Unscrew the rod of the syringe, turning it counterclockwise with a fairly swift movement.
    • After the plunger is removed, place the end of the syringe with the 2 tabs over the front and back of the pump.
    • Secure the syringe onto the pump by turning it counterclockwise until the 2 tabs are secured under the metal edge of the pump. You will hear a click when the syringe is securely in place.

Prime the infusion set

  1. Start the pump by pressing and holding the + button [ON] a few seconds.
  2. Press the P to move the pusher forward 0.2 mL. Repeat pressing P until the infusion set priming is complete.
  3. Make sure the pump is programmed with your child’s syringe size and infusion time (hours and minutes).
  4. Select one of these infusion locations:
    • Back of upper arm
    • Front of thigh
    • Abdomen (except for the navel and the waistline)
      Rotate the infusion site daily to keep the areas from becoming irritated and scarred.
  5. If you used EMLA numbing cream, remove the dressing and wipe off the cream before starting the next step.
  6. Clean the chosen site with an alcohol pad. Start in the center and wipe outward in a circle about 2 inches. Let site dry. Do not blot or wipe to dry. Do not blow on the clean skin.
  7. Pick up the sub-Q needle and remove the cover from the needle.
  8. Pinch the cleaned skin and fat between your thumb and first finger. Be careful not to touch the site itself.
  9. Hold the needle between the thumb and first finger of the other hand. Insert the needle into the skin quickly like a dart. The quicker you insert the needle, the less it hurts. The needle goes straight into the pinched skin. Then, release the skin.
  10. Place the bio-occlusive dressing over the needle. Make a small loop with the tubing about 3 inches from the dressing and tape it to the skin. This will help keep the needle from getting pulled out.
    • A drop symbol will flash, alternating between hours and minutes. This shows that the pump is running.

End of infusion

When the infusion is complete, the pump will beep, and the display will show End.
After a few seconds the pusher will begin returning to the start position. When the pusher has returned to the start position, the display will show OFF, and the pump is ready for the next infusion.

  1. Remove the bio-occlusive dressing and needle from the skin. Discard the needle in a sharps container.
  2. Gently remove the syringe and throw it away in regular trash.

Crono™ pump battery information

These batteries will last 6–8 months. Do not remove a battery during an infusion. This will cause the pump to reset and start over again.

When the battery gets low, call St. Jude Home Infusion Services at 901-595-7464.

The CR 123A 3V-Lithium battery requires FedEx Ground when delivered.

If traveling on an airplane, the battery and pump can be carried on the plane but cannot be packed in checked baggage.

Alarms and troubleshooting

Problems Possible Causes Action
Low Battery Symbol Battery is low. Change battery as soon as possible. Or call St. Jude Home Infusion Services
Battery Discahrged Complete battery failure Replace battery as soon as possible. Or call St. Jude Home Infusion Services.
Occlusion Blocked or trapped infusion line Press + button
All other alarms   Call St. Jude Home Infusion Services.

For help with the Crono™ pump

If you have questions about how to give deferoxamine using the Crono™ pump, please contact St. Jude Home Infusion Services staff at 901-595-7464.


Reviewed: September 2022