Purple Color Differentiation is a Life Saver When Feeding Critical Care Patients

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 7:23am
Applied Medical Technology, Inc.

When Applied Medical Technology, Inc., a developer and manufacturer of niche medical and surgical products, wanted to re-design its feed set systems to add a distinctive purple color, it chose an RTP 700 Series precolored low density polyethylene compound from RTP Company for the feed set strap.


According to Brian Baker, an engineer at Applied Medical, "When providing nutrition to critical care patients through an enteral gastronomy device (a feeding pathway, or feed set, that is a direct portal to the stomach from outside the abdomen), it is imperative that feed set tubes be clearly marked to differentiate them from the IV lines delivering medication to the bloodstream. The color purple signifies that the tube is a food port, not a medication port."


Applied Medical worked with RTP Company engineers to develop the compound for the feed set 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."


Applied Medical re-designed its feed set systems to comply with new regulations in the U.K., which require the use of specific materials and the purple color coding. The color differentiates the devices used for the enteral route from those for other pathways. This distinction helps prevent medications from being administered by the wrong means. All enteral system devices must also be clearly labeled 'Enteral' to aid in proper selection and use. The regulations were introduced following several deaths in the U.K. due to the accidental administration of liquid food into an IV line designed for the delivery of medication.



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