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Inspired by Patients, Invented by Nurses

Inspired by Patients, Invented by Nurses


June 08, 2008

3) The One-Step Gravity Feeding Med-Flow Adapter:

Working on a busy pediatric floor during the night shift was challenging for Vivian Lopez, RN, CPN. But it was also frustrating. Patients’ nighttime gastrointestinal feedings often needed to be stopped so that medications could be added, flushed, and then feedings reconnected. Lopez came up with a better idea.

“I had all these pediatric patients with nasogastric (NG) tube feedings, and the only tubing we had was single lumen,” says Lopez. “Stopping and starting the feedings throughout the shift so I could administer medications was inconvenient and inefficient. We needed an adapter that would allow us to administer medications without interfering with feedings.”

Lopez took her idea home, where she made a mock-up of a simple Y-shaped adapter out of pliable plastic drinking straws. Using Foley® tubing to simulate a feeding setup, she experimented with the model, honing and redesigning it until it worked right.

“I’m looking for a manufacturer now, but who knows where it’ll end up,” says Lopez. Although she’d like to see her product used in pediatric units across the US, she’s satisfied just knowing she accomplished something through her invention. “Even if it doesn’t make it in the market, I’m proud that I thought of it and that it’s out there,” she says. “Nurses are obligated to make patient care safer, cleaner, and easier. We need to show people we’re evolving as a profession and welcome change.”

Invented by Vivian Carrasquilla-Lopez, RN, CPN

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