Volume 7 No.1

Life in the Balance: Blind Placement of Enteric Feeding Tubes
By Vicki Ross, RN, PhD, CNSC

Early and appropriate delivery of nutrition support is critical to achieving favorable outcomes for seriously ill patients. Evidence consistently supports delivering nutrition via the gut as the best option for patients. But when oral diets are not an option, as is often the case for many hospitalized patients,1 enteral nutrition must be delivered via some type of enteral feeding device (EFD). EFDs are not risk free. Feeding tube misplacements in unexpected parts of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the lungs, or in the cranial vault have all been reported as complications of EFDs.2-4 The need to balance early enteral nutrition with the risk of misplaced EFDs means the lives of critically ill patients hang in the balance. This article will provide an overview of the risks of EFD complications, regulatory reports and alerts about EFDs, methods to verify placement of EFDs, and actions that must be implemented to ensure enterally fed patients are both safe and well nourished.

Panel Discussion: Blind Insertion of the small bore NG tube (sbNGT): Looking Ahead to Prevent Misplacement
Panelists: Mary S. McCarthy, PhD, RN, CNSC
Arlene A. Escuro, MS, RD, CNSC, LD
Susan L. Brantley, MS, RD, CNSC, LDN

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