Until recently, fluid delivery systems were equipped with universal connectors. This made them compatible with each other, creating a risk of misconnection. To reduce this risk, ENFit was created in 2018 as part of a global collaborative design initiative. ENFit is an enteral-specific system that safeguards connections between administration sets, feeding tubes and medication syringes. It helps ensure that only enteral nutrition can be delivered through enteral feeding systems.
ENFit helps prevent tube misconnections to promote patient safety.
Resources are available to help ease the transition to ENFit.
This article explains the benefits of ENFit and provides resources to ease the transition to the new standard.
Patients may be connected to several delivery systems at once, such as an enteral feeding system, intravenous (IV) line, tracheostomy tube or peritoneal catheter. Small-bore connectors link these delivery systems together. However, some connectors are universal and inter-compatible. This means that a medical delivery device could be accidentally connected to the wrong system, for example an enteral feeding line to an IV line. Such misconnections may put patients at risk and can be life-threatening.
The most widely used connector in multiple delivery systems. It allows different types of therapeutic devices to be connected, thereby creating a risk of misconnection2.
These are compatible with drainage or aspiration systems. Funnel connectors may also be compatible with the ENLock connectors prevalent in older enteral feeding tubes.
The ENLock predates the ENFit industry standard. It is incompatible with IV systems but compatible with some drainage and aspiration connectors.
As the risk of misconnections began to attract attention, technical, clinical and regulatory experts came together to establish the ISO 80369-3 standard. This led to ENFit, which promotes safe, optimal delivery of enteral feeding using purpose-made connectors that help avoid accidental misconnections.
ENFit is a unified global standard for enteral connection between medication ports, medication syringes, administration sets and feeding tubes. These new connectors are set to:
The transition to this new standard can be a challenge for healthcare professionals. There is a knock-on effect on multiple areas of organisations, as well as a need for thorough inventory management, staff training and educational resources.
Solutions have been developed to ease this transition:
A full range of enteral adapters is available to facilitate the connection of administration sets, feeding tubes and syringes. Visit the Compat Adapter page for more information.
Compat Pump and Gravity Administration Sets are available with both ENFit and legacy connectors to promote the use of ENFit while still ensuring compatibility with other devices. This makes it possible to use existing legacy stock during the transition phase.
Compat Administration Sets are available with ENFit connectors and removable legacy adapters.
Compat NGT are available with dual connectors so that a single tube can be used for enteral feeding and gastric drainage.
The Global Enteral Device Supplier Association helps develop international standards in medical device tubing connectors. Educational webinars, transition checklists, toolkits and other resources are available on their StayConnected website.Visit StayConnected.org for additional ENFit resources.