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ENFit: How to Transition to the New Feeding Tube Connectors

Amy Long Carrera, MS, RD, CNSC, CWCMS
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist | Shield HealthCare
02/04/15  9:34 PM PST
ENFit

 Looking for the latest ENFit update? Click here.

Why The Change to ENFit?

A new global design standard for tube feeding devices, such as feeding bags, syringes and tubes, will improve patient safety by reducing the incidence of medical device tubing misconnections. The new design is called ENFit and will change the way your enteral devices look and function.

Medical device tubing misconnections are defined as inadvertent connections between enteral feeding systems and non-enteral systems such as intravenous (IV) lines, dialysis catheters, respiratory tubing, etc. For example, care providers can inadvertently connect the wrong tubing together and deliver enteral formula into an IV line, which may cause injury.

The tube feeding industry has worked closely with safety organizations to standardize a design for all tube feeding devices to minimize the occurrence of medical device tubing misconnections.

When will the ENFit Changes Occur?

A three-phase transition program is underway to gradually introduce the changes to consumers. Each phase will include changes to a different part of the enteral feeding system. These changes will take place in 2015 and the goal is to have transitioned all enteral feeding devices to the new design by 2016.

 

This transition has been in the works for a couple of years and the goal is for it to go smoothly, so that you have everything you need to feed safely. Therefore, the schedule is subject to change to give consumers time to adapt to the new design.

 

 What Are the ENFit Changes?

 

Phase 1: Feeding Sets/Bags

 feeding set ENFit connector

Feeding Sets ENFit connector

When: This change will take place during the first quarter of 2015.

What: The ENFit connector tip (see below) will replace the stepped connector or “Christmas tree” end of the feeding set that connects to the patient. The ENFit connector is a screw-on connector.

A white stepped connector (see below) will come with the new feeding set. This transitional connector will fit in the current syringes, feeding tubes and extension sets and will be included with all feeding sets through 2016. It will allow the new feeding bags to work with the existing syringes and feeding tubes until those are changed as well.

 

ENFit connector with Transitional Connector

ENFit connector with Transitional Connector

 

Phase 2: Syringes

Current Syringe Design

When: This change will take place during the second quarter of 2015.

What: New syringes will be available with the ENFit syringe tip design (screw-on). The new syringes will screw on to the ENFit connector on the feeding sets. Current syringes will continue to be available through 2016 to ensure a smooth transition.

 

New Syringe with ENFit connector

New Syringe with ENFit connector

 

Phase 3: Feeding Tubes and Extension Sets

Gastrostomy tubeButton tubeExtension setNasogastric tube

 

When: This change will take place during the third quarter of 2015.

What: The feeding and medication ports on all feeding tubes and extension sets will have the new ENFit port design (screw-on). The new ports will connect with the ENFit connector on new feeding sets and syringes. Current feeding tubes and extension sets will continue to be available through 2016 to ensure a smooth transition.

 

New Feeding Tubes with ENFit Connector

New Feeding Tubes with ENFit Connector

 

Visit www.stayconnected.org for more information about enteral device changes and the scheduled phases.

Visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for more information about enteral feeding tube misconnections.

 

This information is intended for educational purposes only. Please consult your healthcare professional for questions about your feeding tube.

 

Comments

7 Comments

  1. Lynda Bailey
    Posted February 14, 2015 at 5:22 am PST

    I have been g-tube feeding my son for 38 years.
    It’s about time.
    Now let’s work on the med port verses the water port for Mikey g-tubes. Lo we profile or not. Pegs included.

  2. Lacey
    Posted September 18, 2015 at 5:51 pm PST

    So you make something look more like an IV tip instead of a feeding tube tip? Makes a whole lot of sense! My question is how am I going to vent my sons g tube 24/7 when my bag no longer fits to my extension? Your going to need to make bile bags with the enfit connector!!

  3. Posted September 22, 2015 at 8:56 am PST

    Hi there,
    Thank you for your comment! This is a great question and a valid concern. First I will address venting of air. According to the Global Enteral Device Supplier Association (GEDSA), venting will work in the same manner. Venting a feeding tube with the new standard ENFit connector will require a syringe with the new ENFit connector. The new syringes will be available starting in January 2016 when the feeding tubes also change over to the ENFit design. The current syringes will continue to be available through 2016 while everyone is making the transition. Farrell valves (Corpak) will also change to the ENFit connection for continuous venting of gas and small amounts of fluid.

    Although the ENFit connection does fit together by twisting, it will not connect to luer lock devices or IV lines.

    If you are currently using a bile bag to drain bile from the gtube, you will be able to continue to do this while the transitional stepped connectors are still available through 2016. You should however, discuss other options with your health care provider as soon as possible. There are other methods to drain bile that will work with ENFit.

    For more frequently asked questions about ENFit, visit http://www.stayconnected.org.

  4. Patty Ryan
    Posted June 23, 2016 at 4:52 pm PST

    What about patients with Foley Catheter feeding tubes. Will they need to transition to another form of GT?

  5. Posted August 16, 2016 at 9:29 am PST

    Hi Patty, thanks for your question! Yes, patients with foley catheters for feeding tubes will eventually need to have a feeding tube placed.

  6. Mary Barrons
    Posted September 7, 2016 at 9:17 am PST

    My daughter has a J and G tube feeding tube. She has had it for 26 years. The new white tipped feeding bags do not fit in the j tube for feeding. She has this type because of severe GERD and obviously because she is unable to swallow. What are we supposed to do?

  7. Posted September 9, 2016 at 9:22 am PST

    Hi Mary, I’m sorry you are experiencing this! You have a couple of options. The new white tip on your feeding bags that you mention are fortunately, temporary and removable (they screw off). 1) At this point, the ENFit version of your daughter’s feeding tube may be available. You can ask your doctor to replace your daughter’s feeding tube with the ENFit version. 2) You may also request a transitional adaptor that will convert her current feeding tube to ENFit so that you can use the feeding bags without the white tipped adaptor. You can request it from your doctor, your supply company or the manufacturer of her tube. This would be a temporary solution until your doctor is ready to replace her current feeding tube with the ENFit version. I hope this helps! Please feel free to email me directly at rd@shieldhealthcare.com if you would like to discuss further. Thank you for your important question!

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