Placing nasogastric tubes in stroke patients with dysphagia: efficiency and tolerability of the reflex placement
- Correspondence to: Dr R Dziewas Department of Neurology, University Hospital Münster, Albert-Schweitzer-Strasse 33, 48129 Münster, Germany;
Temporary dysphagia affects up to 50% of stroke patients in the acute stage of their illness and often necessitates tube feeding. In these patients, the placing of nasogastric tubes is often difficult or impossible. This study evaluated the efficiency and tolerability of a previously described new method for tube placing, which utilises the induction of the swallowing reflex and has therefore been called “reflex placement”. In 14 of 16 patients in whom the conventional approach failed, the new method was successful. A comparison of the cardiovascular responses to both methods in another 12 patients revealed significantly smaller increases in heart rate and systolic blood pressure during application of the new method. We therefore suggest the use of reflex placement in patients who have suffered a stroke and need tube feeding due to dysphagia.
Competing interest: none declared