Feeding tubes are used to deliver enteral nutrition to patients that are unable to ingest nutrients and medications orally and therefore are at risk of malnutrition and dehydration (1).
Unfortunately, the long and narrow inner lumens of small bore feeding tubes used to deliver enteral nutrition and medication to patients often clog for various reasons including, delivery of high viscosity medications, by chemical reactions between feeding formula and medication, or by inadequate tube maintenance (2,3). Clogged feeding tubes can cause patients to go extended periods without nutrition and medication, and attempts to unclog tubes strain
valuable nursing resources. Traditional methods to clear clogged feeding tubes are often unsuccessful, potentially leading to tube replacement, and patient discomfort (2,3,4).
The TubeClear System, an FDA-cleared and CE marked medical device, was developed to clear clogged feeding tubes at bedside while the tube remains in the patient. The system comprises of a reusable Control Box that actuates a single-use Clearing Stem. The Clearing Stem inserts into the feeding tube and the backward and forward motion of the Clearing Stem Tip acts to mechanically disrupt and clear the clogged materials from the feeding tube (5).
An in human case series was completed, documenting twelve cases in which TubeClear was used to clear clogged nasoenteral (NE) feeding tubes. All documented cases were completed by a single licensed healthcare practitioner and were 100% successfulwithout any issues reported by the practitioner and/or patients. The ability to quickly clear clogged feeding tubes while the tube remains in the patient will save healthcare resources, and ease the burden on patients and caregivers.
+ FDA Cleared for clearing occlusions / clogs in Feeding and Decompression Tubes in adult patients that have a Tube size of 6 to 18 Fr.
1. Ireton-Jones C, DeLegge M. Handbook of Home Nutrition Support. Sudburry, MA: Jones and Bartlett; 2007
2. Beyer PL, Matarese LE, Gottschlich MM. Complications of enteral nutrition. 1998.
3. Metheny N, Eisenberg P, McSweeney M. Effect of feeding tube properties and three irrigants on clogging rates. Nurs Res. 1988;37(3):165-169.
4. Smith R, Myers S. 2 devices that unclog feeding tubes. RN. 2005;68(1):36-41; quiz 42.
5. TubeClear System- Clears Clogged Feeding Tubes. 2015;http://www.tubeclear.com/