Colorimetric Capnometry and Feeding Tube Placement
Most guidelines recommend confirming enteral feeding tube placement by radiography before starting enteral nutrition. Capnography and colorimetric capnometry have been described as an accurate alternative method to chest X-ray in this indication. In a meta-analysis, accuracy of capnography or colorimetric capnometry to ensure correct enteral feeding tube placement was found to be excellent (sensitivity = 0.99 (0.93–1.00), specificity = 0.99 (0.97–0.99), AUROC = 0.9959). Colorimetric capnometry is as accurate as capnography for detecting carbon dioxide during placement of enteral feeding tube. In comparison to chest X-ray, these methods prevent pneumothorax, improve a nurse’s organization of care, save time, and decrease costs and patients’ irradiation. Procedures using these methods to ensure correct enteral feeding tube placement should include some crucial steps: control that the enteral feeding tube is not coiled in the oropharynx, verification of its permeability, and epigastric auscultation to ensure that the enteral feeding tube is not coiled in the esophagus. In the rare cases of inconclusive epigastric auscultation, a chest X-ray must be ordered before starting enteral nutrition.
KeywordsPermeability Dioxide Syringe Acidity Pneumothorax
List of Abbreviations
Enteral feeding tube
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