Bedside Postpyloric Tube Placement and Enteral Nutrition Delivery in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

Ashley D. Turner, Susan M. Hamilton, Charles Callif, Katelyn A. Ariagno, Anastasia E. Arena, Nilesh M. Mehta, Enid E. Martinez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Enteral nutrition (EN) delivery may be more effective via a postpyloric (PP) feeding tube in critically ill children, but tube placement can be challenging. We aimed to describe PP tube placement and EN practices in a multidisciplinary pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) after the implementation of a nurse-led bedside PP tube-placement program. Methods: In a single-center retrospective study, we identified 100 consecutive patients admitted to the PICU for >48 hours and for whom PP tube placement was attempted. Demographics, clinical characteristics, and details of PP tube placement and EN delivery were examined. Results: The study cohort had a median age (25th, 75th percentiles) of 3.89 years (0.55, 14.86); 66% were male. Respiratory illness was the primary diagnosis of admission (55%); 92% were on respiratory support. Risk of aspiration was the primary indication for PP tube placement (48%). Bedside placement was the initial technique for PP tube placement in 93% of patients (successful for 84.9%) and was not associated with serious complications. Eighty-seven patients with a PP tube started EN and received a median 73.9% (12.3%, 100%) of prescribed energy goal on day 3 after EN initiation. PP EN allowed 14 of 39 patients receiving parenteral nutrition (PN) to transition off PN 7 days after EN initiation. Thirty-five percent of EN interruptions were due to feeding-tube dysfunction. Conclusion: Bedside PP tube placement is safe and feasible and allows for effective EN delivery and decreased PN use when applicable. Interruptions in PP EN due to tube malfunction are prevalent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-305
Number of pages7
JournalNutrition in Clinical Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • critical illness
  • enteral nutrition
  • nurses
  • patient safety
  • pediatrics
  • tube placement


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