September 1988

A Hazard of Using Adult-Sized Weighted-Tip Enteral Feeding Catheters in Infants

Author Affiliations

Departments of Hematology-Oncology
Department of Radiology
Department of Neurology St Jude Children's Research Hospital 332 N Lauderdale Memphis, TN 38101-0318
Department of Pediatrics University of Tennessee One Children's Plaza Memphis, TN 38103

Am J Dis Child. 1988;142(9):916-917. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1988.02150090014006

Sir.—Diarrhea and hypernatremic dehydration are common in infants being fed nasoenterally.1-4 We recently observed these complications in an infant transferred to our center after intraluminal migration of an adult-length weighted-tip enteral feeding tube. Occasionally, adult-length tubes are used in infants for routine nasogastric feeding. Our report is intended to alert pediatricians to the potential hazards of this practice and to suggest that the risk of complications can be reduced by using standard infant-sized nasogastric tubes.

Patient Report.—A 2.1-kg female infant was delivered at 32 weeks' gestation after an uncomplicated pregnancy. A large immature teratoma involving the right temporal lobe was found during an examination because of apnea when the infant was 5 weeks old. Nasoenteral feeding with an 8-F × 102-cm radiopaque silicone elastomer feeding catheter with a silicone-weighted tip was begun after preoperative chemotherapy and craniotomy because of apnea and choking due to nasopharyngeal extension by

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