Transpyloric Feeding Tube Placement Using Electromagnetic Placement Device in Children

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Abstract

Background: Transpyloric feeding tubes (TPT) are often recommended in critically ill children. Blind tube placement, however, can be difficult, be time-consuming, and incur multiple radiation exposures. An electromagnetic device (EMD) is available for confirmation of successful placement of TPTs. We conducted a retrospective cohort study to evaluate the efficacy of an EMD for TPT placement in children and determine its impact on placement success, radiation exposure, confirmation time, and cost for tube placement compared with traditional blind TPT placement. Materials and Methods: Retrospective data were collected in patients receiving a TPT before (pre-EMD group) and after implementation of an EMD (EMD group). Results: Need for radiographic exposure decreased significantly in the EMD group (n = 40) compared with the pre-EMD group (n = 38) (0.6 vs 1.6 x-rays, P < .001). TPTs were placed and confirmed without abdominal x-ray in 21 of 40 patients in the EMD group. There were no serious adverse events such as misplacement into the lung or pneumothorax or perforation injury of the stomach. Successful tube confirmation took a significantly shorter time in the EMD group than in the pre-EMD group (1.45 vs 4.59 hours, P < .0001). There was an estimated cost savings of $245.10 per placement associated with decreased x-ray and fluoroscopy. Conclusion: The use of an EMD in children significantly decreased radiation exposure and confirmation time while maintaining TPT placement success. The use of an EMD can potentially offer large cost savings. Elimination of abdominal x-ray with EMD during TPT placement was achieved without any serious complications in approximately half of the children.

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