Comparing methods of determining insertion length for placing gastric tubes in children 1 month to 17 years of age

Marsha L.Cirgin Ellett, Mervyn D. Cohen, Susan M. Perkins, Joseph M.B. Croffie, Kathleen A. Lane, Joan K. Austin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


Purpose. The purpose was to compare three methods of predicting the gastric tube insertion length in children 1 month to 17 years of age: age-related, height-based (ARHB); nose-ear-xiphoid (NEX); and nose-ear-mid-umbilicus (NEMU). Design and Methods. The design was a randomized controlled trial. Children were randomly assigned to the ARHB, NEX, or NEMU groups. Tubes placed high were considered to be misplaced. Results. There were significant differences in percentages of correctly placed tubes, with ARHB and NEMU being more accurate than NEX. Practice Implications. NEX should no longer be used as a gastric tube insertion-length predictor. Either ARHB or NEMU should be used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-32
Number of pages14
JournalJournal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012



  • Children
  • Enteral feeding
  • Feeding tube

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics

Cite this