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enteral feeding, enteral nutrition, feeding tube, feeding tube assessment, tube placement



  1. Simons, Shellie Robin PhD, RN
  2. Abdallah, Lisa M. PhD, RN, CNE


OVERVIEW: Since the flexible Levin tube was introduced in 1921, enteral feeding has become ubiquitous. From the out-set, nurses have been responsible for confirming the correct placement of enteral feeding tubes prior to their use for alimentation or medication administration, but current nursing practice doesn't always reflect the best evidence. Although research has established the inadequacy of auscultation to determine proper tube placement, this method is still commonly practiced. The authors examine the research that's been conducted over the past 25 years and compare the accumulated evidence with current practice, as reflected in a convenience sample of 28 New England hospitals. In addition, they evaluate various methods for assessing enteral feeding tubes and make evidence-based practice recommendations.