Nasointestinal Tubes

The small-bore nasointestinal tubes (more commonly called feeding tubes) are usually placed to support nutrition. Complications of these tubes include all of those described with NG tubes (Table85-1), but the former are also more easily dislodged and clogged. With numerous reports of placement of these tubes into the respiratory tract and subsequent intrapulmonary instillation of tube feedings, most institutions require radiographic confirmation of tube placement. 67 Since patients can easily dislodge these tubes after initial confirmation of placement, some recommend pH testing prior to each usage. 8

Replacement of a dislodged tube should be performed using the manufacturer's instructions and radiographic confirmation should be obtained ( .Table.SS-?.). When one of these tubes is clogged from buildup of sediment, the physician can attempt to unclog the tube by instilling saline or cola drink into the tube and leaving it for 30 min; however, replacement will frequently be necessary.9

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