Medical Devices

Preventing Tubing and Luer Misconnections

Patients in health care settings receive food, medication and other therapies through a variety of tubes and catheters. These delivery systems are often connected to one another by small-bore connectors (e.g. Luer connectors).

Because these connectors are compatible between different delivery systems, patient injuries and deaths have occurred when medicines, liquid feeding formulas, or air were accidentally delivered through the wrong tubing. These errors are sometimes called tubing misconnections, wrong route errors, catheter misconnections or Luer misconnections.

The FDA continues to work with industry and the standards community to promote the development of connectors that reduce the risk of misconnections.

On February 11, 2015, the FDA published final guidance for small-bore connectors used in enteral applications. The agency has also recognized standards for small-bore connectors.


Example of a Luer lock and a Luer slip.
Example of a Luer Lock
Photo Courtesy of Beaumont Hospitals

Page Last Updated: 05/14/2015
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