ST. PAUL, Minn. (February 10, 2017)—ENFit is a global change for all enteral tube feeding products. Users can expect to see changes to the connector ends on all feeding bags, enteral syringes and extensions. Half a million children and adults in the United States alone rely on feeding tubes, a number that is expected to increase by eight percent over the next three years, according to the Feeding Tube Awareness Week media page.
As a DME supplier and homecare company based in Minnesota, we have nearly 1,800 patients affected by the enteral (ENFit) connector changes. Pediatric Home Service (PHS) manages 175 different enteral products and has 200 feeding tube supply connections for patient nutrition systems. Adding to the challenge this patient population speaks 17 different languages and all need to be educated and trained on the new connectors. These numbers include only PHS’s patient population, this does not include other patients who use different providers in Minnesota and across the world.
“These changes are happening to avoid incorrect connections to IV lines, trach tubes and other medical tubing. And, to avoid medication, oxygen or fluid being delivered into the wrong place. We’ve seen one such example at PHS where a patient’s mom unintentionally administered enteral products into their child’s IV line, a potentially life-threatening situation. Thankfully the patient is okay, but it goes to show that this can happen, even with the most skilled and careful of caregivers,” said Katie Dahlberg, LPN, PHS Clinical Specialist, “The new connectors will ensure that feeding tube connectors only fit in feeding tubes and will maximize patient safety, which is the focus of our efforts here at PHS.”
Dahlberg said that while PHS is not in charge of making the changes to these supplies, they are working with manufacturers to ensure patient needs are being met, and relaying this information to them.
PHS resources include a webpage, resource downloads, how to videos, a Facebook live video and an open house at the PHS office Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. where patients can come in and walk through the changes with a clinician.
PHS understands how challenging this transition has been and continues to work with manufacturers to find solutions to the problems that are occurring. Please use the resources at PHSENFit.com to help answer questions and concerns.
Feeding Tube Awareness week is currently being celebrated February 6–10.
Visit pediatrichomeservice.com for more information.