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Improved radiological assessment of neonatal feeding tubes

Abstract

Background In about one-fifth of radiographs performed in neonates, no exact gastric feeding tube position can be defined.

Objectives To determine whether injection of air via feeding tube before taking radiographs improves radiological assessment of its position.

Methods In the study group (n=153), air was injected via gastric feeding tube before taking a radiograph. The tube position on radiographs was compared with a blinded control group (n=381) with no injection of air.

Results The definition of exact gastric tube position was possible in 95% of the study group compared with 78% in the control group (p<0.001).

Conclusion Injection of air before taking a radiograph significantly improves the definition of exact gastric feeding tube position in neonates.

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