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Accuracy of the corrected nose-earlobe-xiphoid distance formula for determining nasogastric feeding tube insertion length in intensive care unit patients: A prospective observational study
Odisee University College, Department of Nursing, Belgium; Ghent University, University Centre for Nursing and Midwifery, Belgium.
AZ Nikolaas General Hospital, Belgium.
AZ Nikolaas General Hospital, Belgium.
AZ Nikolaas General Hospital, Belgium.
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2020 (English)In: International Journal of Nursing Studies, ISSN 0020-7489, E-ISSN 1873-491X, Vol. 110, article id 103614Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: As nasogastric feeding tube insertion is a frequently applied, non-risk-free nursing technique, a high level of evidence-based nursing care is required. Little evidence is available regarding the accurate determination of the insertion length of nasogastric feeding tubes. The method of using the nose-earlobe-xiphoid distance as measurement is inadequate and not supported by evidence. Findings from a recent randomized trial led to an alternative calculation: the corrected nose-earlobe-xiphoid distance formula: (nose-earlobe-xiphoid distance × 0.38696) + 30.37 + 6 cm.

Objectives: To test the accuracy of the corrected nose-earlobe-xiphoid distance formula for determining the required nasogastric feeding tube insertion length in adults admitted on an intensive care unit and to investigate the probability to successfully obtain gastric aspirate for pH measurement.

Design: Prospective, single‐centre observational study.

Participants and methods: Adult intensive care unit patients in a general hospital (N=218) needing a small-bore nasogastric feeding tube were included between March and September 2018. Correct tip positioning was defined as a tube tip located > 3 cm under the lower esophageal sphincter. Tip positioning was verified using X-ray.

Results: All nasogastric feeding tube tips were correctly positioned > 3 cm under the lower esophageal sphincter. The chance of successfully obtaining gastric aspirate within 2 hours after placement of the tube was 77.9%.

Conclusions: With all tips positioned > 3 cm in the stomach and zero tubes migrating back into the oesophagus, the corrected nose-earlobe-xiphoid distance formula can be considered a more accurate method to determine nasogastric feeding tube insertion length.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2020. Vol. 110, article id 103614
Keywords [en]
Adult, Enteral Nutrition, Evidence-Based Nursing, Gastrointestinal Intubation, Patient Safety, X-rays
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Caring Sciences w. Medical Focus
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-81787DOI: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2020.103614ISI: 000578974900001PubMedID: 32702567Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85088013027OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-81787DiVA, id: diva2:1429494
Available from: 2020-05-11 Created: 2020-05-11 Last updated: 2020-11-05Bibliographically approved

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Eriksson, MatsBeeckman, Dimitri

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