March 27, 2007 - Baxa Corp. announced the launch of a new educational campaign promoting the use of dedicated enteral systems for enteral feeding. The campaign highlights the risks to neonates when syringes, administration sets and other disposables with luer fittings are used for non-IV applications such as enteral feeding. While tubing misconnections can be deadly for any patient, neonates represent the highest risk population due to their small size and other health complications. Components of the campaign include a direct marketing piece, technical white papers, Web site, press releases, participation in industry lobbying efforts and the development of products that eliminate the risks.
The campaign launch closely follows the January 2007 release by the Joint Commission of their proposed 2008 National Patient Safety Goals (NPSGs) for comment. The NPSG draft recommends that providers take steps to prevent catheter and tubing misconnections. In their Sentinel Event Alert released April 3, 2006, the Joint Commission stated that a standard luer syringe should "never" be used for oral medications or enteral feedings. Devices that incorporate a 'forcing function' - physically preventing misconnection - provide the best means for patient safety and compliance.
"Our goal was to raise awareness of the issue through the campaign and eliminate the risk with product improvements," says Katie Calabrese, neonatal nurse practitioner and Baxa product manager. "These improvements needed to completely remove the luer connections from this application." Baxa Exacta-Med® Enteral Syringes, included in some of the campaign materials, are the first medication dispensers designed only for enteral feeding. They incorporate a unique dispenser tip that cannot connect to a luer device, and distinctive enteral marking, orange lettering and stripe to coordinate with dedicated enteral tube sets. When used with the VIASYS MedSystems CORFLO® Anti-IV Enteral Feeding System, the Baxa enteral syringes combine to form a dedicated system that prevents wrong-route administration of non-IV fluids. The microsite http://ww.baxa.com/helpthemgrow features campaign informati! on and support materials.