Can ENFit® Be Used for Medication Administration?
The design of ENFit® syringes has some wondering whether they can be used to administer medication. Here’s what you need to know.
ENFit® enteral products are specifically engineered to minimize the risk of feeding tube misconnections. These products use a unique locking mechanism that is incompatible with other tubing connectors, which helps prevent potentially harmful connections between different systems.
Another benefit of ENFit® syringes is that they can be used to administer medication to NICU patients. While there were some initial concerns about the design of the ENFit® tip syringe, refinements in syringe design have made it possible for NICU nurses to use these syringes to safely and effectively administer medication to infants through feeding tubes.
The Evolution of ENFit® Products for Medication Administration
As is often the case with the introduction of a new technology, the initial rollout of ENFit® syringes and enteral connectors included some minor difficulties. For example, ENFit® products utilize a reversed orientation (i.e., the male end is part of the tube rather than the syringe, and vice versa for the female end), which created a small pocket of dead space within the system. This made it somewhat challenging for NICU nurses and clinicians to accurately deliver low-dose medications using the original female ENFit® tip syringes.
Many NICU patients receive cardiac medications, narcotics, and other medications with a low therapeutic index, and concerns over dosage accuracy led to the rapid development and rigorous testing of a low-dose ENFit® tip syringe. This syringe resolved the dosing accuracy issue and was cleared by the Food and Drug Administration.
How to Prepare and Fill ENFit® Syringes
There are a few methods of preparing medication and filling ENFit® syringes. Please note that the following instructions, taken from resources provided by the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition and the Global Enteral Device Supplier Association, should only be implemented by trained nurses, not patients at home.
- Using an Ameritus bottle cap adapter: NICU nurses can use bottle fill caps to administer medication, but those caps are prone to leakage due to mismatched threading when the bottle is flipped upside down for syringe filling. Ameritus bottle cap adapters prevent leaks so NICU nurses can safely administer medication via enteral feeding tubes. First, ensure the medication bottle has a bottle adaptor that is compatible with ENFit® products. Next, attach the ENFit® syringe to the bottle adaptor and turn the bottle upside down. Cycle the syringe, then pull back the required dosage. Turn the bottle right side up before removing the syringe.
- Using an Ameritus ENFit® straw: If an ENFit® bottle cap adapter isn’t available or the cap is incompatible with ENFit® products, then the syringe can be filled using an Ameritus ENFit® straw. First, connect the syringe to the Ameritus straw, cycle it, then draw up the needed dose. Disconnect the straw and the syringe. Tap the syringe gently to remove excess medication from the moat.
- Using a medication cup: Prime the ENFit® tip syringe before submerging the tip in the medication cup. Cycle and draw the desired dosage. Gently tap the syringe to remove air and excess medication. Narcotics and other medications with narrow therapeutic indices must be cleaned from the moat of each syringe to prevent misdosing.
Find Out Why NICU Nurses Are Talking About ENFit®
The unique design of ENFit® devices has helped hospital staff around the world reduce misconnections and prevent serious harm to NICU patients. The added benefit of this design? As long as clinicians are diligent about dosing accuracy, these syringes can also be used to administer medication through feeding tubes as needed. Kentec Medical can help procurement managers get ENFit® devices into their hospitals in a low-stress, pain-free way. Kentec also offers legacy enteral products for customers who haven’t yet made the transition to ENFit®, and we can assist you based on your hospital’s unique needs.
We know that you need reliable access to the right tools and services in order to improve NICU patient outcomes, which is why we’re committed to providing best-in-class customer service. To learn more about how we can make the procuring enteral devices simple and straightforward, contact us today.
American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. (n.d.). Preparing and Administering Medications Using ENFit®: Procedure for Use in the Home Setting. Retrieved from file:///Users/ldf/Desktop/ENFit%20med%20procedure%20for%20home%20care.pdf
ISO 80369-3:2016. (2017, November 08). Retrieved January 29, 2021, from https://www.iso.org/standard/50731.html
The Global Enteral Device Supplier Association. (n.d.). Procedure for Inpatient Settings: Preparing and Administering Medications Using ENFit®. Retrieved from http://stayconnected.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/medication-administration-poster.pdf