It was parents from the center who alerted Agnes Vissers to a new medical device to fix the feeding tube. The Bridle was invented in the USA, and adults who used such a system were positive. Agnes: ‘I remember it well. We also had a toddler then who, after being admitted to the Máxima Center often pulled out the nasal feeding tube. Home health care workers sometimes had to put the tube back in twice a day.' Contact was made with the manufacturer, the professionals learned about the children's version of the Bridle and the Máxima Center purchased some. Agnes: 'Since last November, this tool has been available only for children with a special indication.'
A Bridle is used to prevent children from (accidentally) removing the feeding tube. This prevents the nasogastric tube from having to be reinserted again and again. Bridle literally means ‘rein’ or ‘loop’ and in this case it is intended to secure (fix) a feeding tube where no or a few small patches are used. A Bridle is a flexible line that goes through the nose. It has a clip on it to secure the tube. Agnes: ‘Young children who keep pulling the probe out can get a special indication. Older children may also qualify for it if they have a mental disability or very severe allergy to patches in the face. A Bridle does not prevent children from spitting out the probe. It is an aid for fixation of the probe and it is inserted under sedation.'
By now, 12 children in the Máxima Center have had a Bridle. Some already several times, because it can remain in place for a maximum of three months. There have been positive experiences in almost all children. The parents of a two year old say: ‘The Bridle has been a great solution for us. We often thought at night when we heard something, 'Oh, if only he wouldn't pull the tube out!’. The Bridle helped us sleep better ourselves.’ Agnes: 'I am still in contact with the parents of the first child in the Máxima Center who received a Bridle. They are very happy, and so am I, that with this system, the nasal tube has stayed in place well with their toddler. Coincidentally, last week I received an email with a photo of the toddler without a feeding tube and without a Bridle. So nice that we were able to introduce and use this new aid so quickly. I am really proud of that!’
Agnes Vissers is the person who inserts the Bridle in a child in the sedation room, as are several physician assistants and one of the anesthesiologists. All experiences surrounding this process have been inventoried, including the experiences of parents and children. 'We will definitely expand the survey, because the first experiences are positive. For special indications in children, it is a comfortable and suitable tool. The parents and the children think so, and so do we!’
You can find more information about the Bridle in this leaflet (in Dutch).