Safe tube-feeding in hospitals

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Intravenous news: As part of their commitment to safety, Nestle HealthCare Nutrition and the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, or A.S.P.E.N., today announced the launch of a new initiative to promote safe tube-feeding in hospitals.

The “Be A.L.E.R.T.” campaign is designed to raise awareness of key steps that should be taken in order to administer tube feedings more safely and reduce the risk of tubing misconnections. The program complements the A.S.P.E.N. Enteral Nutrition Practice Recommendations, a comprehensive set of safety guidelines issued this week during Clinical Nutrition Week.

Tubing misconnections caused by human error are a serious problem in our nation’s health-care facilities. A leading health-care organization reports that more than 300 people died or suffered serious injury from tubing misconnections between 2000 and 2004. (“Tubing Misconnections: A Perilous Design Flaw,” Materials Management in Health Care, November 2006: 36-39.)

“Solving this industry-wide problem requires all of us — hospitals, health-care professionals, regulators, quality improvement groups and manufacturers — to work together to raise awareness, implement design change and create the tools that nurses and others need to provide the highest-quality care possible,” said Carol Siegel, MS, RD, manager of professional services at Nestle HealthCare Nutrition, a unit of Nestle Nutrition. “This new education initiative is a significant step forward in our ongoing effort to improve patient safety.”

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