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May 11, 1984

Inadvertent Transbronchial Insertion of Narrow-Bore Feeding Tubes Into the Pleural Space

Author Affiliations

From the Pulmonary Unit, Medical Services, Massachusetts General Hospital and Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School (Drs Hand and Rogol); the Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital (Dr Kempster); and the Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital (Dr Spirn), Boston; and the Department of Anesthesia, Emory University Hospital, Atlanta (Dr Levy).

JAMA. 1984;251(18):2396-2397. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340420062028

Four patients had soft, narrow-bore feeding tubes passed transbronchially into the pleural space. Guide wires were used to aid passage and may have contributed to this complication. The errant positioning of the tube was first noted roentgenographically in each case. Alternate methods of inserting such tubes in patients with altered airway and swallowing reflexes may be needed. Radiographic confirmation of the tube's position is essential before starting tube feedings.

(JAMA 1984;251:2396-2397)