Background and aims:
Dysphagia is common after stroke, so feeding through a nasogastric (NG) tube may be necessary. These tubes are frequently dislodged, causing interruption to feeding and hydration, and potential aspiration of feed or fluids into the lungs. Interventions to prevent this may include taping tubes to the face; the application of hand mittens or bandaging patients' hands; inserting the NG tube into the nostril on the stroke-affected side; and nasal bridles. The aims of this survey were to investigate the management of NG feeding for stroke patients, including current tube confirmation and securing techniques, and associated nurse education. This was part of a three-phased sequential mixed-methods study. This paper reports on the second quantitative phase.
A quantitative postal survey, based on initial qualitative findings, was sent to registered nurses (n=528) from the National Stroke Nurses Forum and Scottish Stroke Nurses Forum, in addition to registered nurses working on stroke units within the local health board.
The overall response rate was 59% (n=314/528). Tape was the most commonly used method for securing tube position, followed by inserting the tube on the stroke-affected side. Hand mittens were used more frequently than the nasal bridle; bandaging hands was reported once. Taping was considered to be more acceptable and safer than hand mittens or the nasal bridle, but less effective. Training in inserting NG feeding tubes was received by 56% (n=176/314). Methods used for confirming tube position included aspiration and X-ray. Provision of training in confirmation techniques varied.
This study shows that the management of NG feeding for dysphagic stroke patients requires standardisation, as does the education for nurses to ensure that this intervention is carried out safely, effectively and acceptably.
Mahoney, C. M., Rowat, A. M., Macmillan, M., & Dennis, M. S. (2015). Nasogastric feeding for stroke patients: practice and education. British Journal of Nursing, 24, 319-325. https://doi.org/10.12968/bjon.2015.24.6.319