Tubing connection mistakes most commonly occur when a hospital employee connects a catheter or tube to a wrong port or device. Misconnection of tubing used to link patients to medical equipment has the potential to result in serious injury.
Medical devices used in hospitals are designed so they have the ability to connect to related tubing and accessories, with many connectors or luer locks being a standard size and the same size as a broad range of medical equipment used for different functions.
A hospitalized patient may be connected to devices to administer fluids, feedings, pain medication, oxygen or to monitor arterial blood pressure. Especially in a hectic hospital environment, a nurse, doctor, respiratory therapist or physician assistant may mistakenly attach a device to the wrong tubing, with often dire or fatal consequences.