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Syringe feeding systems

NICU   (1,814 Views 6 Comments)
by NBmomto2 NBmomto2 (New Member) New Member

NBmomto2 has 2 years experience and works as a Registered Nurse.

1,073 Visitors; 22 Posts

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Hi there...I'm wondering what kind of feeding systems you use in the particular NICU where you work? What's the brand of the system and what do you like dislike about it?

I'm wondering because two months ago our nurse manager decided to change our feeding system...giving us a system that is not suitable at all. I'm not sure how to handle it. It's been two months now and we're using these new syringes (that are NOT in sterile packaging...I should add) to feed our very tiny premmies (700-800 grams and smaller) to our growing prems.That's the first issue.

Another issue is that after a little research I found that these Baxa syringes that we are using (that are completely amber in color) are actually meant for med administration and the reason they are amber is for light sensitive meds. We all HATE the new system since we question that cleanliness of them, and because they are amber we cannot see the color of the residuals we are getting when we check the tube placements. Very scary when you think that a baby can get NEC very quickly and how are we to see if there are flecks or anything else in the residual???

I also found out that Baxa actually has a system that is called Neothrive that is specifically for feeding of neonates. I passed all this info on to my NM as well as the staff educator. All they are saying is that they are 'looking into it'. UUGGG frustrating!!

One more thing....our infusion pumps we are using...and NOT set up to recognize these syringes...therefore we are having to select a different manu name on the pump in order for the pump to work....totally not safe. I...and all the other nurses...have noticed that the pump gives more than what we program in because the pump is actually giving the milk according to a totally different size and diameter of syringe than the one put in. kwim? We are putting only the require amt in the syringes now...but at times if we put the infusion over an hour it will actually go in over 45-50 minutes because according to the pump there should still be more in the syringe to give. I have filled out numorous incident reports on this issue....and still no word! I am so mad right now....we are putting the safety of these babies at risk and noone seems to care!

I really don't know what else to do....but I really hate that we are put into the position to give care that is unsafe for these mini patients.

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Jessy_RN has 13 years experience.

1 Like; 25,978 Visitors; 8,397 Posts

Sounds like a complete mess! We use medfusion pumps with BD clear syringes.

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BabyLady works as a RN.

14,565 Visitors; 2,300 Posts

The syringes do not have to be in "sterile" packaging because the GI system is not sterile to begin with. It just has to be clean...we use a similar system.

However, you have two issues that are more important: Amber syringes and inaccurate pumps.

Our facility, some hairbrain decided it was a good idea to get amber syringes and we were so mad we just got out the high $$$ sterile 10 ml clear ones...once they saw how many of those we were going through, they got the other ones back. I fully justified it because I HAD to be able to see the residual. That is part of your assessment for early detection of NEC...kind of hard to see blood in an amber syringe.

The pumps, are going to increase an infant's time on gavage feeds because you are not getting consistent flow or accurate flow, which will also contribute to a feeding intolerance.

I would get a group of nurses together and go higher up the ladder.

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NicuGal has 30 years experience and works as a once a manager, now a staff nurse, preceptor, educ.

21,906 Visitors; 2,743 Posts

We use the orange system from Children Medical Venture. We have been having a problem with the syringes popping off and the feeding tube ends not staying shut and then you get all kinds of nasty all over your bed and baby, esp when they are bearing down or refluxing. I thought everyone had to go to an feeding system soon per Joint commission? No more rigging up IV syringes and tubing...that is a big ding!

As for the pumps...first, you should NOT be putting more than you need in the syringe no matter what system you are using...any pump can malfunction and what if you had 50 in there and the kids was only supposed to get 20? Bad, bad. And syringes do not have to be sterile...you are probably used to using syringes that are for IV meds, the new systems have syringes for oral use only and anything that goes in the gut does not have to be sterile. And the amber ones are for oral meds!

Anytime you have an issue with equipment such as you have explained, you should be writting an incidence report/patient safety report. This will go to risk management (ours are computerized and the manager doesn't see them until risk management sees them) and you may get somewhere like that. Just keep filling them out. Sometimes it is all you can do. And it covers your butt.

New products take time...I am on the new product committee and you would not believe the red tape and hoops we go thru to even be able to trial something. It isn't as easy as here you go, try this.

Frustrating!

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NICU_babyRN works as a NICU RN.

1 Like; 5,039 Visitors; 306 Posts

Please see private message i'm sending you for more details. but we did a general trial of five different systems and selected the best one for us.

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TheMiss has 10 years experience.

3,374 Visitors; 44 Posts

I agree with NicuGal and others. Write incident reports and go higher up.

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