This device is an improvement on pre-existing technology. It is a nasoenteric feeding tube that is inexpensive, disposable, and designed to give the user more maneuverability and thus a better chance of successfully placing it in the small intestine.
Current feeding tube technology provides a patient that no longer has the capacity to feed themselves with the necessary sustenance for life. Nasogastric/nasoenteric feeding tubes are small, cheap, and less invasive than gastric feeding tubes. They are inserted through the nose into either the stomach (nasogastric) or the small intestine (nasoenteric). The nasoenteric type of feeding tube provides one of the most direct supplies of nutrition to the patient.
Current nasoenteric feeding tubes are sometimes very difficult to insert. A common method of insertion uses fluoroscopy. Both physician and patient are exposed to unnecessary amounts of radiation when a physician cannot pass the trachea successfully or continuously gets the feeding tube stuck in the stomach. In this case there is a greatly increased chance for the physician to give up before successfully inserting the tube into the small intestine.
With the maneuverable tip, difficult areas, such as the trachea and fundus in the stomach (the upper portion of the stomach) are more easily passed. By manipulating the tip of the feeding tube, the tip has a smaller chance of getting lodged in the fundus. Many times the tube also has a tendency to go down the trachea into the lung where it could cause damage.
With the ability to maneuver the tip of the tube, the angle of insertion can be changed, giving the physician a better chance of inserting the tube into the small intestine in a shorter time span. Once the tube has been successfully inserted, the tube will behave similarly to current feeding tubes.
The main use of the maneuverable feeding tube is to make artificial feeding of the patient via the small intestine a much safer and more efficient process.
This device is as small, cheap, and disposable as the current technology. It eases the process of insertion, decreases exposure of the patient and health care providers to radiation, and decreases potential harm to the patient.