Published at the Medical Device News Magazine, November 3, 2020 By: Doron Besser, Chief Executive Officer of ENvizion
Prospective nurses each year complete their post-secondary degrees and training, soon to start their careers in clinics and hospitals. As a part of their training in the basics, many learn to properly place feeding tubes.
Perhaps shockingly, some do not.
Around the world, 22 million feeding tubes are placed each year, six million of which are in the U.S. When a tube isn’t placed properly, it may end up in the trachea or primary bronchi. Such misplacements can have disastrous if not outright fatal results, whether infection or even drowning the patient with nutritional fluids. Nevertheless, as Avery L. Smith et al. note in a Baylor University Medical Center study, “This assumption of safety from life-threatening injury is so widely accepted that blind insertion of feeding tubes is routinely performed by nurses who are not required to obtain specific certification for this procedure.
If enteral feeding tube placement can have fatal consequences, shouldn’t it be a given that proper training and certification be required of nurses or any support staff performing it?