Implementation of an electromagnetic imaging system to facilitate nasogastric and post-pyloric feeding tube placement in patients with and without critical illness
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Background: Artificial nutrition support is required to optimise nutritional status in many patients. Traditional methods of placing feeding tubes may incur clinical risk and financial costs. A technique facilitating placement of nasogastric and post-pyloric tubes via electromagnetic visual guidance may reduce the need for X-ray exposure, endoscopy time and the use of parenteral nutrition. The present study aimed to audit use of such a system at initial implementation in patients within an acute NHS Trust. Methods: A retrospective review was undertaken of dietetic and medical records for the first 14 months of using the Cortrak® system. Data were collected on referral origin, preparation of the patient prior to insertion, placement success rates and need for X-ray. Cost analysis was also performed. Results: Referrals were received from primary consultants or consultant intensivists, often on the advice of the dietitian. Fifty-nine percent of patients received prokinetic therapy at the time of placement. Thirty-nine tube placements were attempted. Sixty-nine percent of referrals for post-pyloric tube placement resulted in successful placement. X-ray films were requested for 22% of all attempted post-pyloric placements. Less than half of nasogastric tubes were successfully passed, although none of these required X-ray confirmation. The mean cost per tube insertion attempt was £111. Conclusions: This system confers advantages, particularly in terms of post-pyloric tube placement, even at this early stage of implementation. A reduction in clinical risk and cost avoidance related to X-ray exposure, the need for endoscopic tube placement and parenteral nutrition have been achieved. The implementation of this system should be considered in other centres. © 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 The British Dietetic Association Ltd.
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