How Well Do You Know NICU Enteral Feeding Best Practices?

Written by Kentec Medical

Take this quick quiz to see how well you know current safety practices and guidelines for enteral feeding systems.

ENFit® connection systems are enteral connectors, tubes, syringe pumps, and other feeding devices that are specifically designed to prevent misconnections in NICUs. These enteral connectors and feeding systems are compliant with ISO standard 80369-3:2016, which requires enteral feeding tubes to be incompatible with gas lines, IV drips, blood pressure tubing, and other distinct systems. Analysis shows that implementing ENFit® feeding systems can dramatically reduce the risk of serious injuries and even death for NICU patients.

Making the transition to ENFit® requires a systematic approach, and many NICU nurses, hospital staff, and procurement managers have been educating themselves on ENFit® clinical guidelines for months in an effort to prepare for this impending shift.

If you work in a NICU, there’s a good chance you know the best practices for implementing enteral feeding systems inside and out, but it’s always a good idea to test your knowledge and stay sharp. Take this quick quiz to see how well you know current safety practices and guidelines for enteral feeding systems. The correct answers are listed beneath the statements below. Good luck!

True or False?

1. Tubing and equipment should be used only as intended by the manufacturer. Therefore, enteral products and IV equipment should not be used interchangeably.

2. The syringe pumps that NICU staff use for enteral feeding should be clearly visually distinguishable from those used to deliver medication and IV fluids.

3. ENFit® products can be used only for enteral feeding purposes, not medication administration.

4. IV syringe pumps should not be used for enteral connections.

5. Transitional adaptors or connectors aren’t safe for long-term use.

6. Since ENFit® feeding systems are incompatible with legacy enteral connectors, they do not need to be labeled.

7. With ENFit® connection systems, NICU staff no longer need to recheck connections or trace tubes back to their sources during hand-off communications.

8. Since ENFit® feeding systems use unique connectors that are only compatible with other ENFit® products, non-clinical staff and NICU visitors can now safely reconnect enteral and IV tubing.

Check Your Answers

1. True. Using enteral connectors and IV tubes or pumps interchangeably creates opportunities for misconnections.

2. True. Enteral misconnections occur when enteral feeding tubes are connected to incompatible systems, which can cause serious harm to NICU patients. As an extra precaution against misconnections, enteral feeding tubes, pumps, and enteral connectors should be labeled clearly to facilitate quick visual identification.

3. False. ENFit® syringes also can be used to ensure accurate medication dosing.

4. True. IV syringe pumps are not recommended for use with enteral feeds. As such, it’s important for hospitals to maintain an adequate supply of enteral-only syringes to promote regulatory compliance and consistent medical practice.

5. True. Transitional connectors are only a temporary solution. Long-term use can cause subpar connectivity, disconnections, leaks, and even cracks in ENFit® components.

6. False. Even though ENFit® products are only compatible with other ENFit® products, the ENFit® connection system should be clearly labeled to keep the potential for misconnections to an absolute minimum. NICU nurses can trust the design of ENFit® products to ensure they’ve made the right connection, but clear and distinct labels can’t hurt.

7. False. All tubing still needs to be traced back to its point of origin during hand-off processes.

8. False. Visitors and non-clinical staff should always seek clinical assistance. Clinical staff are the only people who should be reconnecting tubing.

Taking the Next Step with Kentec

If you want to put this knowledge into action, Kentec Medical can help! Our team is well-versed in all things ENFit® and can provide you with all the information you need to make the best decisions for your hospital. We’re committed to providing superior customer service to our clients, as we believe doing so is a critical component of helping healthcare providers do their jobs safely and effectively. If you’d like to learn more about the ENFit® products and safety oral enteral products we offer, or if you have any questions, contact us today.




Works Referenced

Global Enteral Device Supplier Association Clinical Advisory Board. (2020, May 08). GEDSA Letter to the Joint Commission [Letter written May 08, 2020 to Joint Commission]. In Stay Connected. Retrieved January 5, 2021, from http://stayconnected.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/GEDSA-_Letter_to_the_Joint_Commission_StayConnected_20200805.pdf

ISO 80369-3:2016. (2017, November 08). Retrieved January 5, 2021, from https://www.iso.org/standard/50731.html