CHA News Article

Shortage of Syringes Delays Transition to New Enteral Connectors

Beginning in January 2016, California law will prohibit hospitals and skilled-nursing facilities from using enteral feeding connectors that fit into other types of connectors (e.g., intravenous), except in emergency situations where the prohibition would impair their ability to provide health care. An international design, usability testing and engineering effort has resulted in a new standard connector called “ENFit”  — which is intended to prevent cross connections with intravenous connectors and was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The first phase of transition to the new ENFit connector has begun with the introduction of transitional administration sets, which include an ENFit connector and an adapter that fits current feeding tubes. However, phases two and three of the transition have been delayed due to a syringe shortage. Few North American manufacturers produce suitable syringes, and production challenges will delay phases two and three in this region. Both phases will begin concurrently in January 2016.

CHPSO, a division of the Hospital Quality Institute, is a key participant in the ISO connectors international committee and communicates on efforts to implement standards. For more about the current transition schedule, visit the CHPSO website.