Successful Identification of Anatomical Markers and Placement of Feeding Tubes in Critically Ill Patients via Camera-Assisted Technology with Real-Time Video Guidance.JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2019 01; 43(1):118-125.JJ
Enteral feeding via feeding tube (FT) provides essential nutrition support to critically ill patients or those who cannot intake adequate nutrition via the oral route. Unfortunately, 1%-2% of FTs placed blindly at bedside enter the airway undetected (as confirmed by x-ray), where they could result in adverse events. Misplaced FTs can cause complications including pneumothorax, vocal cord injury, bronchopleural fistula, pneumonia, and death. X-ray is typically performed to confirm FT placement before feeding, but may delay nutrition intake, may not universally identify misplacement, and adds cost and radiation exposure.
A prospective case series was conducted to evaluate a novel FT with a camera to provide real-time visualization, guiding placement. The primary end point was the clinician's ability to identify anatomical markers in the gastrointestinal tract and/or airway using the camera.
The Kangaroo Feeding Tube with IRIS Technology tube was placed in 45 subjects with 1 misplaced tube; 3 placements were postpyloric, with the remainder gastric. Clinicians correctly identified the stomach in 44 of 45 placements at a median depth of 60.0 cm (range 45.0-85.0 cm). A stomach image was obtained in 42 subjects (93.3%). Agreement between camera image and radiographic confirmation of placement was 93% (P = .014) with small deviations in recognizing stomach vs small bowel. No device-related adverse events occurred.
Direct visualization of the stomach using a camera-equipped FT can assist with FT placement, help avoid misplacements, and with further studies to evaluate the safety of eliminating confirmatory x-ray before feeding, could potentially preclude the need for radiographic confirmation.