This study investigates whether Pseudomonas aeruginosa can form a biofilm on Lopez enteral feeding valves in 14-day laboratory cultures.

The Lopez enteral feeding valve (ICU Medical, San Clemente, California) is a 3-way stopcock valve made of polycarbonate and polypropylene (Figure 1). This device is used to create a closed, feeding tube system when inserted between a percutaneous enteral gastrostomy or nasogastric feeding tube (which enters the gastrum) and the enteral feeding tubing (which is connected to a container of enteral nutrition). Use of the 3-way stopcock creates a closed system and eliminates the need to disconnect the tubing to check gastric residual volumes and to administer water flushes and medications. The opportunity for reflux of gastric contents during tubing changes is also eliminated with a closed system. Use of a Lopez valve provides several potential benefits to nurses,...

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