Enteral feeding, or nutritional intake through a tube, allows debilitated patients to meet their nutritional goals, sustain life, achieve faster recovery, and decrease overall hospital stay. The primary technology used for enteral feeding is the gastrostomy tube (G-tube) – a device that provides a pathway into the stomach via a surgically-created tract through the abdominal wall. The most commonly used G-tubes, however, are prone to accidental dislodgement (32% of cases) due to simple tugging, balloon rupture, or leakage. Hospitals also face a large financial burden ($1-2M per year) from stocking multiple G-tube sizes to accommodate the diversity in the pediatric patient population.
The BUDDY Button is a novel low-profile adjustable gastrostomy tube that provides reliable transabdominal fixation to address the significant needs in enteral feeding. The design includes an innovative fixation mechanism for added security, but maintains easy, painless insertion and removal without unintended dislodgements. The BUDDY Button, uniquely, is a one-size-fits-all G-tube, customizable for each patient at bedside.
APDC will provide funding for the production of prototypes, bench testing, and marketing.