The start of transpyloric feedings is often delayed because of challenges in reliably placing tubes blindly at the bedside.


To determine whether tube placement with the guidance of a noninvasive computerized electromagnetic device shortens the time needed to achieve accurate placement of transpyloric feeding tubes in critically ill children.


In a prospective, randomized trial in a tertiary-care, university-affiliated pediatric intensive care unit, 49 children requiring transpyloric feeding tube placement were randomized to have their tube placed by using conventional blind technique or with the assistance of a noninvasive electromagnetic device.


Twenty-seven patients were randomized to blind placement, and 22 were randomized to the electromagnetic device group. The time required to place the tubes successfully was significantly longer (P < .03) in the electromagnetic device group (median, 9.5 minutes; 95% confidence interval, 7–13 minutes) compared with the conventional placement group (median, 5 minutes; 95% confidence interval, 4.0–7.0 minutes).


Placement of transpyloric feeding tubes with the guidance of a noninvasive electromagnetic device significantly increases the time required for accurate placement. Because placement of transpyloric feeding tubes in critically ill children is common practice in many pediatric intensive care units, technology that delays satisfactory placement may be counterproductive in experienced hands.

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