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Am J Surg. 2012 Dec;204(6):958-62; discussion 962. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2012.07.025. Epub 2012 Sep 28.

Safe, timely, convenient, and cost-effective: a single-center experience with bedside placement of enteral feeding tubes by midlevel providers using fluoroscopic guidance.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Section of Burns/Trauma/Critical Care, University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics, 30 North 1900 East, SOM 3B310, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, USA.



Enteral feeding tube placement has been performed by nurses, gastroenterologists using endoscopy, and interventional radiologists. We hypothesized that midlevel providers placed feeding tubes at bedside using fluoroscopy safely, rapidly, and cost-effectively.


We retrospectively analyzed bedside feeding tube placement under fluoroscopy by trained nurse practitioners. We compared charges for this method with charges for placement by other practitioners.


Nurse practitioners placed 632 feeding tubes in 462 patients. Three hundred seventy-nine placements took place in mechanically ventilated placements. Ninety-seven percent of tubes were positioned past the pylorus. The mean fluoroscopy time was 0.7 ± 1.2 minutes. The mean procedure time was 7.0 ± 5.1 minutes. All tubes were placed within 24 hours of the request. There were no complications. Institutional charges for tube placement were $149 for nurse practitioners, $226 for gastroenterologists, and $328 for interventional radiologists.


The placement of feeding tubes under fluoroscopy by nurse practitioners is safe, timely, and cost-effective.

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