Interview with Peggi Guenter, PhD, RN, FAAN Senior Director for Clinical Practice, Quality, and Advocacy of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Why do enteral nutrition (EN) connectors need to change?
To reduce the frequency of medical tubing misconnections. An international group of clinicians, manufacturers and regulators, such as the FDA, is collaborating with the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) and the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) to develop ISO 80369 standards. Unique international standard designs will promote better patient safety and help ensure that connectors for unrelated delivery systems are incompatible. The program that is helping introduce the new standards is called the Stay Connected initiative for using safer connectors. Much of the information in this article came from the extensive FAQ documents on that site.
Kristy Klug, RD, LDN
Tubing is used in the healthcare setting to connect patients to medical devices for the provision of liquids and gases. Tubing misconnections can occur when tubing from one medical device is inadvertently connected to a functionally dissimilar tube of a patient, allowing for medical liquids or gases to be delivered into parts of the body for which they were not intended. For example, tubing from an enteral feeding accidentally connected to an intravascular (IV) port, allowing enteral nutrition to be administered into the patient’s bloodstream. The results of these misconnections can be devastating, often leading to severe patient harm including permanent injury or death.1 Industry changes are occurring across the healthcare continuum to create safer connections for all patients. In this article, we will discuss the introduction of the new ENFit enteral connectors in the long term care and home care settings.
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