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Omorogieva Ojo
British Journal of Nursing, Vol. 20, Iss. 1, 12 Jan 2011, pp 34 - 38

Aim: Dysphagic patients with functional guts often receive nutritional
and hydration support through enteral feeding tubes. These include
percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) and radiologically
inserted gastrostomy (RIG) tubes. The balloon gastrostomy tube
(BGT) as a primary tube of choice in tube-fed patients, including
head and neck cancer patients, offers a new approach to enteral
tube feeding in the community. There are complications associated
with the use of enteral feeding tubes. This study compared the
complication rates and the costs of PEG tubes and BGTs in patients
on long-term enteral feeding in the community and looked at the
possible use of BGTs as an alternative to PEG tubes. Methods: The
records of all 15 BGT-fed patients on the caseload and 15 randomly
selected PEG tube-fed patients were reviewed. The study was based on
two consecutive visits to these patients. Tube and stoma complications
were clinically scored in order of increasing severity (0-10) and
statistically tested. The prevalence of stoma and tube complications
was expressed in percentages. Results: There was no significant
difference (P>0.05) in the overall clinical scores between BGT-fed and
PEG tube-fed patients at both initial and final visits. However, with
regard to specific complications-infected sites, tube dislodgement,
overgranulation, and infection with overgranulation-significant
differences were observed between the two groups of patients at the
initial and final visits. In addition, the total costs of inserting and
managing BGTs were significantly higher than those for PEG tubes.
Conclusions: Although BGTs may be used as analternative to PEG
tubes in patients on long-term enteral feeding in the community,
the higher cost of using BGTs over PEG tubes should be considered
when selecting feeding tubes for these patients.

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