Changes to Enteral Feeding Connectors

16/10/2014

Some of you may know that there are to be a few changes made concerning how enteral feeding tubes are connected over the course of the next couple of years.

To give you a little bit of background and history...

There have been incidents in the past when medication and nutrition meant for intravenous administeration has been connected and administered into an enteral feeding tube or enteral feed has been connected to and admistered through intravenous catheters.

Now you may be thinking, how can this happen? We all know that enteral tubes are purple and the connections between enteral and intravenous are not compatible so how can you connect the two.

Well this is the case in the UK. A number of years ago now, there was a shift to having male and female luer connectors, as well as different colours of tubes, giving sets and syringes to ensure that it was clear which was connect to where, but many countries have not made this change, until now.

In order to create a world-wide, universal protocol to ensure that these never events occur, much research and discussion has been put into what is needed and a the new ENFit appears to be the winner and will be making its way into the supply chain from 2015 (atleast that is the current plan)

PINNT have been involved with some of the discussions in the UK as part of their work with the Enteral Plastic Safety Group (EPSG), in order to make sure that we are able to keep you all informed and up to date on what is happening and why.

The EPSG has published a statement, which as part of the supporting groups, PINNT have agreed to share with you all.

In 2015 an international standard (ISO 80369-3) is being introduced that covers all enteral connectors. Enteral feeding devices** form part of this international standard and this statement refers to all enteral feeding devices within the UK.

In order to comply with the International Standard, a new global enteral feeding device connector design (ENFit) is planned to be introduced nationwide from September 2015. ENFit is a unique enteral specific designed connector that significantly reduces the risk of misconnection to any other type of medical device.

All leading UK enteral feeding device suppliers have been working together to implement this international standard. Working in collaboration with the NHS and respective representatives from all relevant clinical groups, EPSG member companies will develop and execute a joint communication initiative that will inform health professionals nationwide, from October 2014 through to the introduction of ENFit.

It is envisaged that the introduction of ENFit will be carried out over a 6 month period with a seamless transition that centres around the patient.

Full details regarding this statement, the International Standard and the introduction of ENFit are available from all EPSG members.

*The EPSG represents all leading UK enteral feeding device suppliers, with slinical representation from the PENG of the BDA, NNNG and supported by PINNT. The aim of this forum is to discuss enteral feeding device safety from both a clinical and manufacturing perspective. The term enteral feeding device refers to any type of feeding tube that is placed into the gastro-intestinnal tract, as well as giving/extension sets, syringes and enteral feeding pumps.

** Devices that will have the new commector include: enteral giving sets, enteral syringes, all enteral feeding tubes, all enteral accessories.

For a downloadable and printable version of this statement, please click here

As always PINNT will keep you up to date with the plans and the transition as more information is given. We plan to have a feature in the Winter edition of Online, so watch out for that.

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