Background New ENLock standard connectors (between the administration tube/enteral feeding catheter-EFC) and ENPlus (between nutrition bag/administration tube) are designed to administer enteral nutrition (EN) safely and avoid unsafe connexions. These connectors will coexist for a while with devices not equipped with them. Compatibility data will be necessary to ensure they are used safely.
Purpose In vitro tests to evaluate the compatibility between devices with and without these connectors.
Materials and Methods The evaluation focused on 12 EFC references from 6 suppliers, 4 nutrition bags from 4 suppliers and one administration tube with an ENLock connexion at both extremities (Nutricia). Following the NF-EN-1615 and 1618 norms, five tests were performed in triplicate on each reference. (1) A leak test required eosin solution and simulated pressure of 50 kPa for 2 min in the connectors. Leaks were revealed by spots on philtre paper. (2) An EFC connector deformability test was performed by measuring the inner and outer diameter with callipers after one connexion/disconnection a day for 30 days. (3–4) Two penetration tests, ENLock/EFC and ENPlus/bag, were performed using a dynamometer, exerting a linear force and measuring the maximum force for connexion. (5) An EFC connexion resistance test was performed using a dynamometer exerting a linear traction and measuring the maximum force for disconnection.
Results No leaks were detected. The changes in the EFC connector internal and external diameters tested were respectively up to 30% and 6%. The tube connexion force to the EFC ranged from 37.8 N to 216.2 N and to the bag from 14.6 N to 20.1 N. Two suppliers’ bags could not be connected to the ENPlus device. The tube disconnection force to the EFC ranged from 3.2 N to 44.8 N (limit value: 15 N).
Conclusions Important differences exist between suppliers. Some feeding lines don’t meet the specific EN norms for these devices particularly as regards the maximum disconnection force so their use with incompatible devices can be risky.
No conflict of interest.
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