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Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2007 Mar;23(2):178-82.

Complications related to feeding tube placement.

Author information

1
Saint Louis University School of Nursing, St Louis, Missouri 63104, USA. methenna@slu.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

Blind placement of a feeding tube can result in serious complications. Given the widespread use of tube feedings, even a small percentage of such problems can affect a significant number of people. The purpose of this review is to describe recent reports of feeding tube placement problems and to examine possible solutions.

RECENT FINDINGS:

Multiple case reports of complications of malpositioned feeding tubes continue to surface; most are due to inadvertent placement in the respiratory tract. A tube with feeding ports in the esophagus significantly increases risk for aspiration, as does the displacement of a small bowel tube into the stomach of a patient with significantly slowed gastric motility. Isolated reports of a nasally placed tube entering the brain following head injury continue to occur, as do reports of esophageal and gastric perforation in neonates. A recent study showed that malpositioned tubes are not routinely recorded in risk management databases; it further demonstrated that a comprehensive intervention to reduce complications from small-bore nasogastric feeding tubes was effective.

SUMMARY:

Complications related to malpositioned feeding tubes are usually preventable. Poor reporting of feeding tube placement errors hinders the adoption of effective protocols to prevent such errors.

PMID:
17268247
DOI:
10.1097/MOG.0b013e3280287a0f
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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