Colorimetric capnography, a new procedure to ensure correct feeding tube placement in the intensive care unit: An evaluation of a local protocol

Service de Réanimation Médicale, Hôpital Saint-Antoine (AP-HP), 184 rue du faubourg Saint-Antoine, 75571, Paris Cedex 12, France.
Journal of critical care (Impact Factor: 2.13). 08/2011; 26(4):411-4. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcrc.2010.08.007
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Radiography is the criterion standard method to ensure correct placement of a feeding tube. Recently, excellent results were reported using a combination of colorimetric capnography and epigastric auscultation, but the impact of this technique has not been studied to date. Objectives were to assess whether our local procedure, using colorimetric capnography to ensure proper feeding tube placement, improves the patient's care, satisfies nurses, and decreases costs compared with the standard procedure requiring systematic radiography.
We performed a monocentric prospective observational study in a medical intensive care unit over a 4-month period. Feeding tube placement was assessed by colorimetric capnography and epigastric auscultation. Radiography was performed when epigastric auscultation was inconclusive.
A total of 69 feeding tubes were placed in 44 patients. Radiography was required in 10.1% of the cases. The new procedure decreased costs ($33.37 ± 13.96 vs $45.92, P < .0001) and was less time consuming (11.6 ± 20.5 minutes vs 87.3 ± 45.2 minutes, P < .0001) than using systematic radiography. All nurses reported confidence in the procedure, which improved the organization of their care.
The use of colorimetric capnography and epigastric auscultation to confirm feeding tube placement improves nurse's organization of care, saves time, and decreases costs.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although most critically ill patients experience at least 1 blind insertion of a feeding tube during their stay in an intensive care unit, little is known about the types of health care personnel who perform these insertions or about methods used to determine proper positioning of the tubes. To describe results from a national survey of critical care nurses about feeding tube practices in their adult intensive care units. The questions asked included who performs blind insertions of feeding tubes and what methods are used to determine if the tubes are properly positioned. Data were collected from members of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses via pencil-and-paper and online surveys. Results from both forms were combined for data analysis and were compared with practice recommendations of national-level organizations. A total of 2298 responses were obtained. Physicians perform more blind insertions of styleted feeding tubes than do nurses; in contrast, nurses place more nonstyleted tubes. Radiographic confirmation of correct position is mandated more often for blindly inserted styleted tubes (92.3%) than for nonstyleted tubes (57.5%). The 3 most commonly used bedside methods to determine tube location are auscultation for air injected via the tube, appearance of feeding tube aspirate, and observation for indications of respiratory distress. Recommendations from multiple national-level organizations to obtain radiographic confirmation that each blindly inserted feeding tube is correctly positioned before the first use of the tube are not adequately implemented. Auscultation is widely used despite recommendations to the contrary.
    American Journal of Critical Care 09/2012; 21(5):352-60. DOI:10.4037/ajcc2012549 · 1.41 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Les radiographies de thorax (RT) constituent l’examen d’imagerie le plus fréquemment prescrit chez les patients de réanimation. Les variations de leurs indications et modalités de prescription (systématique ou à la demande), d’un service à un autre, reflètent l’hétérogénéité des pratiques, non conforme aux recommandations actuelles. Celles-ci plaident en effet pour des RT quotidiennes, notamment pour les patients ventilés et/ou souffrant de pathologies cardiopulmonaires aiguës, tandis que les études de recherche de consensus montrent que les RT sont en réalité plus prescrites selon le contexte clinicobiologique des patients que selon des recommandations générales. L’étude « Radio en réanimation: RARE », récemment publiée, a montré qu’une stratégie de prescription à la demande plutôt que systématique permettait une diminution moyenne d’un tiers du nombre de RT effectuées chez les patients ventilés, sans altération du pronostic. En outre, des indications plus ciblées, associées à l’emploi d’alternatives diagnostiques efficaces, notamment échographiques, devraient permettre de réduire le nombre de RT pratiquées en réanimation, l’irradiation des patients, les délais diagnostiques et les coûts. L’ensemble des données actuellement disponibles doit suggérer aux sociétés savantes d’actualiser leurs recommandations concernant les modalités de prescription des RT en réanimation. Chest-X-rays (CXR) are the most frequent imagebased explorations performed in intensive care units (ICUs). Indications and prescription modalities (whether routine or on demand prescription strategies) may substantially differ from an ICU to another. The observed heterogeneity reflects a substantial distance between clinical practice and official recommendations. Current guidelines recommend CXRs on a daily basis especially for patients receiving mechanical ventilation and/or suffering from acute cardio-pulmonary failure, whereas practice-based studies report that CXR prescriptions are mainly based on the clinical context. The recently published RARE study shows, with a reliable methodology, that prescribing CXR on demand rather than as a daily routine allows to reduce CXR prescription by 32% in patients receiving mechanical ventilation, with a better diagnostic and therapeutic efficiency and without any impairment of prognosis. Therefore, precise targeted prescription together with the use of reliable diagnostic alternatives (such as ultrasound) should result in a decrease in the number of CXRs performed in the ICU, in patients’ global irradiation, in diagnostic delays, and in costs. Considering current available data, guidelines for CXR prescriptions in the ICU should be updated. Mots clésRéanimation–Radiographie de thorax–Stratégie de prescription–Radiographie KeywordsIntensive care unit (ICU)–Chest-X-ray–Strategy of prescription–Routine–On demand
    Réanimation 01/2010; 20(1):31-40. DOI:10.1007/s13546-010-0001-9
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study was designed to compare the effectiveness of using auscultation, pH measurements of gastric aspirates, and ultrasonography as physical examination methods to verify nasogastric tube(NGT) placement in emergency room patients with low consciousness who require NGT insertion. The study included 47 patients who were all over 18 years of age. In all patients, tube placement was verified by chest X-rays. Auscultation, pH analysis of gastric aspirates, and ultrasonography were conducted on each patient in random order. The mean patient age was 57.62 ± 17.24 years, and 28 males (59.6%) and 19 females (40.4%) were included. The NGT was inserted by an emergency room resident. For pH testing, gastric aspirates were dropped onto litmus paper, and the resulting color of the paper was compared with a reference table. Ultrasonography was performed by an emergency medicine specialist, and the chest X-ray examination was interpreted by a different emergency medicine specialist who did not conduct the ultrasonography test. The results of the auscultation, gastric aspirate pH, and ultrasonography examinations were compared with the results of the chest x-ray examination. The sensitivity and specificity were 100% and 33.3%, respectively, for auscultation and 86.4% and 66.7%, respectively, for ultrasonography. Kappa values were the highest for auscultation at 0.484 compared to chest x-rays, followed by 0.299 for ultrasonography and 0.444 for pH analysis of the gastric aspirate. The ultrasonography has a positive predictive value of 97.4% and a negative predictive value of 25%. Ultrasonography is useful for confirming the results of auscultation after NGT insertion among patients with low consciousness at an emergency center. When ultrasound findings suggest that the NGT placement is not gastric, additional chest X-ray should be performed.
    Scandinavian Journal of Trauma Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine 06/2012; 20:38. DOI:10.1186/1757-7241-20-38 · 1.93 Impact Factor


Available from
May 30, 2014