Nutributton - Cerys Murray-Scott
Improving enteral feeding buttons to reduce infections and PEG surgery admissions
Buttons are used to allow nutrition and medication to be delivered directly to the stomach of users who require enteral feeding via a gastric tube. There are over 1/2 million people who use feeding tubes in the United States of America.
People who require a feeding tube are unable to swallow safely and cannot obtain nutrition by mouth. This includes patients with cancer and alzheimers.
Previous Design: 70% of users have experienced unintentional removal of the button and the hole left in the tissue can close within 30 minutes, resulting in traumatic surgery. Each surgery costs £10,000 resulting in a total of £3 billion a year in the United States alone.
Solution: Increased stability through the design of a mechanical, expandable sphere to prevent dislodgement and unnecessary surgery. The infection risk is reduced with the use of anti-bacterial, silver ion coating. Reducing the profile above the skin to prevent button catching on clothing creates an improved user experience. A closed water system and ergonomic key is used to reliably control the stability mechanism. The valve is also angled for ease of key insertion.