Feeding Tube Positioning
Inserting a feeding tube correctly into a patient’s stomach requires careful positioning and can often only be confirmed by x-ray or suctioning.
If the position of the tube changes, for example, because the patient unconsciously comes into contact with the external part of the feeding tube and pulls at it, the tube may move up the esophagus, causing feeding matter to be dispersed into the esophagus (above the lower esophageal sphincter) instead of the stomach. Often this goes unnoticed by health care practitioners until the patient experiences massive reflux events and/or expels content via the mouth. If gastric matter goes up the esophagus and the patients continue to be ventilated, the gastric content may be aspirated into the lungs. This puts the patients at a high risk for ventilator-associated-pneumonia.
With its sensor-based feeding tube, smART+ simplifies the tube’s positioning. The clear user interface of the system enables the caregivers to easily identify when the feeding tube is in its correct position. The system continuously monitors the tube’s position to ensure that it remains in place.
If it a change in position is detected, feeding is immediately halted, and the staff alerted both on the interface and via an audible alert. With the help of the sensors, the clinical staff can effortlessly reposition the tube. smART+ makes repositioning simple and feeding resumes automatically.