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Jacobson et al1 keenly examined how a novel electromagnetic tracking system may be safely used to ensure correct placement of small-bore feeding tubes (SBFTs). Clinical practice has shifted such that SBFTs are preferred for short-term feeding due to a reduction in aspiration risk and perceived patient comfort.2 The latter, however, is largely anecdotal and may reflect provider perception rather than reality. In actuality, traditional large-bore feeding tubes (LBFTs) may be the favorable option.
SBFTs are commonly placed blindly with a 1%–3% incidence of erroneous airway insertion. A pneumothorax occurs in one-third of pulmonary misplacements with an associated mortality rate reportedly exceeding 20%. Additional pulmonary complications include hemothoraces, pneumonias and broncho-pleural fistulas.1 3 SBFTs employ a rigid guidewire—the suspected culprit …
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