Color Me Purple

Differentiation A Life Saver When Feeding Critical Care Patients

Gastronomy Component

Adapter component color with a RTP 700 Series precolored low density polyethylene compound.

When providing nutrition to critical care patients through an enteral gastronomy device — a feeding pathway that is a direct portal to the stomach from outside the abdomen — it’s imperative that feed set tubes be clearly marked to differentiate them from I.V. lines delivering medication to the bloodstream.

Standard feed sets and I.V. systems are often similar in design and equipped with similar adapters, making it possible for even trained medical professionals to confuse one for the other. To avoid mistakes, Applied Medical Technology, Inc., a developer and manufacturer of niche medical and surgical products, has re-designed its feed set systems, adding components with a distinctive purple color.

According to Brian Baker, engineer at Applied Medical Technology, “Purple signifies that it is an enteral (food) port, not an I.V. port. We’ve re-designed our feed set systems to comply with new regulations in the U.K. that require the use of specific materials and the purple color coding. The color differentiates devices used for the enteral route from those for other pathways. This distinction helps prevent medications from being administered by the wrong means. The regulations were introduced following a few deaths in the U.K. due to the accidental administration of liquid food into an I.V. line.”

Applied Medical Technology worked with RTP Company engineers to develop an RTP 700A Series precolored low density polyethylene compound for the feed set’s strap. “RTP Company provided us with the exact purple color in a material that matched our specific end-use requirements,” said Baker. “Because the system is used for feeding and in close contact with the skin, we needed a material that was flexible, non-brittle, and soft to the touch.

“A feed set works by attaching a syringe or drip line to a feeding port,” explained Baker. “Liquid food is sent through the feed set and gastrostomy device directly into the stomach. In addition to aiding in identification, the strap keeps the enclosure for the end luer attached to the feed set while it is unscrewed. That way the cap doesn’t get lost.”

Applied Medical Technology, Inc., of Brecksville, OH is an innovative leader in the design and manufacture of gastronomy feeding devices. For more information visit www.appliedmedical.net.

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