The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning parents, caregivers and health care providers of strangulation risks for children who rely on enteral feeding delivery sets after receiving reports that two children died after being strangled by the tubing.
Both deaths occurred in 2021 and involve children under age 2 years who were found with tubing wrapped around their necks after their caregivers briefly left them unmonitored.
While the FDA believes death or serious injury from strangulation with enteral feeding set tubing in children is rare, health care providers and caregivers should be aware that these events can occur.
The agency is recommending parents and caregivers try to avoid leaving the feeding set tubing where infants or children can become entangled. They also should discuss with their child’s health care provider if the child had been tangled in their tubing before.
Enteral feeding delivery sets are used to provide nutrition to people who are unable to eat, swallow or be fed by mouth. These sets include tubing that delivers feeding to the patient’s enteral tube (or feeding tube) using gravity or a pump.
The FDA is working with manufacturers to evaluate factors that may have contributed to the patient deaths as well as strategies to minimize patient risk.
Reports of injury caused by feeding set tubing can be submitted using the FDA’s MedWatch Voluntary Reporting Form.
For questions about risks associated with enteral feeding delivery sets, email the FDA’s Division of Industry and Consumer Education at email@example.com or call 800-638-2041 or 301-796-7100.