Gastric intubation is a critical part of patient care during surgical procedures, though the insertion of such tubes has up to a 50% failure rate. Researchers at UCI have developed a device that allows for accurate placement of nasal and oral gastric tubes, which in addition to being simple and inexpensive, reduces the risk of accidental tube misplacement and organ perforation.
While under general anesthesia, patients are administered food and/or drugs via naso- or oro-gastric tubes that extend from the nose or mouth, respectively, directly to the stomach. The tubes are typically made of flexible plastic, and are rely on “blind” insertion whereby the administrator must maneuver the tubing based on feeling alone. Though they are a crucial element of medical treatment plans, the insertion of such tubes typically have a failure rate of 50% arising from complications including nosebleeds, accidental placement in the lungs, and esophageal perforation from repeated insertion attempts. Other insertion techniques exist, but they are often complicated, requiring multiple people or even trained specialists, and carry their own associated trauma risks. Currently, there is no simple, reliable method beyond blind insertion that significantly decreases naso/orogastric tub failure rate. Researchers at UCI have developed a new type of naso/orogastric tubing that, under the standard blind insertion method, decreases risk of lung placement and esophageal trauma.
To facilitate the placement of an oro-nasogastric tube in patients under general anesthesia