By Amy Rogers, RN-BSN
Clinical Nurse Specialist
In the upcoming months, ENFit will be the new standard for enteral tube feeding connectors. This will fully replace Legacy or pre-ENFit connectors, thus reducing the high risk of misconnections that has been shown with legacy devices. “Tubing Misconnection” can have severe consequences, causing concern in both a hospital and home setting. Legacy connectors are multi-functional as this type of connector could fit into a feeding tube, IV port, catheters, tracheostomy tube or non-enteral tubing. Due to this, there was a high risk of inserting the legacy connector into the wrong tube and creating potential life-threatening danger. ENFit connectors will replace Legacy and provide a nontraditional female-to-male setup. ENFit will not fit into tubes that are not specifically designed for enteral feeding. For the first 12 to 16 months, there will be a temporary transition set connector available which will allow the use of legacy feeding ports until ENFit enteral feeding tubes are the new standard.
Transitioning to ENFit at first will require ENFit-compatible connectors. Most manufacturers are making both ENFit and Legacy feeding tube connectors and syringes but this will change to just ENFit in the future. Due to the reverse male to female connection, feeding tubes and medication ports will now require female ENFit syringes. This will also include syringes needed for hydration, bolus feeding and medication administration. If small medication or other liquid administration is required, a 5 mL or smaller syringe with an ENFit Low Dose Tip will need to be used.
Will my blenderized diet flow through the new ENFit connector?
The answer: yes! The change to ENFit should not create any change in the rate that blenderized foods travel. Blenderized foods will be able to fit through ENFit connectors easily. Pre-made blends, such as Kitchen Blends®, fits through an ENFit connector; if making your own blend, the same consistency that worked with legacy connectors will work with ENFit. Please keep in mind that beyond the connector, the flow rate can vary due to ingredients, consistency of the blend, syringe size, and tube brand.
How will I clean the ENFit connector?
A small brush with warm water is helpful to clean connectors. Brush devices will also be available, especially for ENFit connectors. Feeding Tube Awareness has a list of ENFit products, making the transition simple and straightforward as possible.
Cleaning Tips: Low Profile Feeding Tubes Extension Sets
Cleaning Tips: Feeding Tubes with Male ENFit Connectors