• Intrapulmonary placement of small-bore nasogastric feeding tubes caused pneumothoraces in four patients. Review of the literature discloses another 106 cases of the same complication. Risk factors for intrapulmonary complications include endotracheal intubation or tracheostomy (60% of reported cases [95% confidence interval, 44% to 80%]), and altered mental status (36% of reported cases [95% confidence Interval, 24% to 53%]). We propose a simple, two-step method of feeding tube insertion designed to prevent such complications in high-risk patients.
(Arch Intern Med 1989;149:184-188)