The most dreaded complication of tube feedings is tracheobronchial aspiration of gastric contents. Strong evidence indicates that most critically ill tube-fed patients receiving mechanical ventilation aspirate gastric contents at least once during their early days of tube feeding. Those who aspirate frequently are about 4 times more likely to have pneumonia develop than are those who aspirate infrequently. Although a patient’s illness might not be modifiable, some risk factors for aspiration can be controlled; among these are malpositioned feeding tubes, improper feeding site, large gastric volume, and supine position. A review of current research-based information to support modification of these risk factors is provided.
2006 AACN Distinguished Research Lecture| July 01 2006
Preventing Respiratory Complications of Tube Feedings: Evidence-Based Practice
Am J Crit Care (2006) 15 (4): 360-369.
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Norma A. Metheny; Preventing Respiratory Complications of Tube Feedings: Evidence-Based Practice. Am J Crit Care 1 July 2006; 15 (4): 360–369. doi: https://doi.org/10.4037/ajcc2006.15.4.360
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