A Corpak® is a feeding tube manufactured by Corpak Medsystems. This manufacturer offers a range of enteral feeding products that deliver nutrition directly to the stomach or intestines for patients who cannot eat on their own. Many medical suppliers carry Corpak® products and they are preferred by some hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities.
Corpak Medsystems has been based in Wheeling, Illinois since 1979. The company specializes in making products for enteral feeding. It is especially concerned with the development of products that increase safety. Corpak® feeding tubes are available for both short and long term uses, in a variety of lengths and diameters to suit the needs of different patients.
Corpak makes both nasogastric and percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tubes. Nasogastic tubes are usually used for short term feeding. They are threaded through the nose into the stomach and allow for rapid and easy delivery of nutrition for the patient. PEG tubes are used for long term feeding of patients who are not getting enough nutrition independently. In addition to tubes, Corpak® also manufactures feeding bags, pumps, declogging devices, and other equipment utilized in enteral feeding.
Corflo® nasogastric tubes are available in regular and Anti-IV varieties. The Anti-IV product has special connection points that make it impossible to connect it with an intravenous needle, ensuring that intravenous drugs are not accidentally introduced through the Corpak® tube. Likewise, the accessories for the feeding tube are designed to be incompatible with intravenous catheters to avoid injecting nutritional mixtures into an intravenous line.
Other Corpak® products include tracking systems that are used to monitor the placement of a feeding tube. In the case of nasogastric tubes, it is possible to insert a tube improperly. This can have serious consequences for the patient if it is not caught before nutritional mixes are injected into the tube, as for example if a feeding tube ends up in one of the lungs.
Enteral feeding can be an option for a patient during short term recovery or for long term care in cases where patients cannot eat on their own. A doctor must prescribe an appropriate diet and some adjustments may be required to find a diet that works for the patient. Many patients experience discomfort and nausea, especially at first. While using a feeding tube, it is important to communicate any side effects experienced, as they may be signs of complications or an intolerance of the diet.
Corpak Feeding Tube vs. Dobhoff
Corpak tubes are a popular option, but there are several other types of enteral feeding tubes, including the Dobhoff model. Dobhoff feeding tubes are characterized by their flexibility, narrow-bore structure, and thin diameter. There are a few other notable differences between the Dobhoff and Corpak feeding tubes, including their method of placement and their most common applications.
Corpak and Dobhoff feedings tubes are both considered small bore tubes, which means that they are designed for placement in the small bowel or stomach. The methods used to achieve this placement typically differ, though. A Corpak feeding tube is often inserted by using the CORTRAK Enteral Access System. This method uses electromagnetic sensors to accurately position the feeding tube within the patient. A Dobhoff feeding tube, conversely, is inserted with a wire stylet and positioned with a small weight.
These differences have a considerable effect on the patient’s experience. Many report that a Dobhoff feeding tube is more comfortable than a Corpak. It should be noted, too, that a Dobhoff tube is often intended for placement by mouth, unlike a Corpak, which can be inserted as an oral or nasogastric (NG) tube.
Placing a Corpak feeding tube may be uncomfortable for a patient if they are awake during the procedure, but it may take as little as 30 to 45 minutes to complete. The process entails several steps, the first of which is choosing the correct length. The healthcare provider should measure the patient’s stoma tract to ensure that the best size is selected. The provider should then determine whether an oral or nasogastric placement is ideal.
If the Corpak feeding tube is placed orally, it will be inserted into the mouth and directed down towards the patient’s stomach. It is important that the practitioner inserting the tube stop immediately if any resistance occurs. If this happens, the tube should be adjusted slightly before proceeding. When the full length of the tube is inserted, it should be secured and assessed to ensure correct placement.
For Corpak feeding tubes that are placed nasally, the aforementioned CORTRAK Enteral Access System will likely be used. This is Corpak’s proprietary system for confirming correct tube placement without the need for X-rays. The system includes an electromagnetic stylet that’s used by a healthcare provider to locate and position the tip of the feeding tube. This allows the practitioner to take advantage of onscreen guidance to ensure accuracy.
Corpak vs. NG
Some people differentiate between Corpak and nasogastric (NG) feeding tubes while others use the words interchangeably. These phrases don’t necessarily refer to different kinds of feeding tubes, though — nor are they the same thing. In fact, many Corpak feeding tubes are also NG feeding tubes — but not all NG tubes are Corpak tubes. The word “Corpak” simply refers to the company that manufactures certain feeding tubes, and the word “NG” indicates that the tube in question is designed for nasogastric placement. These words are thus neither mutually exclusive nor synonymous.