The 'luer' connector system was introduced in the late 1890's in order to standardise the way hypodermic needles and syringes were joined together. This allowed different needle and syringe manufacturers to make compatible products and thus broadened the market for both devices.
Because of its simplicity and ease-of-use, by the 1990's, the 'luer' connector had become the ubiquitous method of joining, not only hypodermic needles and syringes together, but also lengths of small-bore medical tubing, which form an essential part of modern medical therapy equipment.
Tubing associated with medical equipment may be helping perform many different life-support functions - administering liquefied nutrients into the gut, conducting respirable gases to and from the lungs, monitoring blood pressure, draining urine from the bladder and connecting parts of an epidural catheter system administering pain-relieving drugs into the spine.
The increasing complexity of medical devices, coupled with a diversity of functions, led inevitably, to the occurrence of tubing mis-connections and 'wrong-route' drug administration. Although the incidence of these errors are small in number compared with overall usage of medical connectors, several of these errors led to fatalities with subsequent criminal charges being brought against doctors and hospitals.