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Liu SY, Yang CP, Wei TS, Chen YC, Liang CH, Wu CH, Chen CL, Wu JJ
Correspondence: Dr Tsung-Ju Wu, email@example.com
Introduction The exposed section of a traditional nasogastric (NG) tube can interfere with patients’ social activities and thereby result in distress. This study was conducted to evaluate the feasibility and safety of a novel two-piece NG tube for patients with dysphagia.
Methods Ten patients with dysphagia were recruited between November 2011 and May 2012. Patients who were unconscious or in critical condition, had a traditional NG tube < 50 cm or > 60 cm in fixed length, or were unable to follow instructions or sign consent forms were excluded. The two-piece NG tube, which was placed in the patients for one week, comprised a removable external tube that can be joined to an internal tube via a T-connector, which was placed close to the naris. Events related to safety (e.g. nasal pressure sores, number of unplanned extubation, displacement and spontaneous migration of the NG tube, other unpredictable injuries) and effectiveness (e.g. liquid food spills, tube obstruction, perfusion rate, other adverse circumstances) were assessed daily.
Results All patients received feeding without complication using the two-piece NG tube and none experienced premature removal of the tube. No serious NG tube complications or malfunctions were observed.
Conclusion The results of this study indicate that the two-piece NG feeding tube is a feasible option for patients with dysphagia. Future improvements to the connector may help enhance its performance. A rigorous randomised controlled trial to examine the effects of the two-piece NG tube on patients’ quality of life and quality of medical care is being planned.
Keywords: dysphagia, feeding tube, nasogastric, quality of life, rehabilitation
Singapore Med J 2013; 54: 227-230; http://dx.doi.org/10.11622/smedj.2013079
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