Feeding Tubes and Their Importance

What is a Feeding Tube?

A feeding tube is flexible tube is introduced through the nose or belly area to provide liquid nutrition and directly into the stomach or small intestine. Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG), esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), or G-tube insertion are all other terms for this procedure. An endoscope is placed into the stomach through the mouth. The operating doctor can establish the location for the feeding tube implantation using the endoscope's camera.

The tube is often inserted while you are in the hospital, but you may continue to use it outside of the hospital, at home, or in a nursing facility. Tube feeding is also known as enteral nutrition, and when done at home, it is referred to as home enteral nutrition (HEN).

A feeding bag is used for gastro-intestinal feeding in adults, children, and neonates. According to the doctor's orders, an enteral formula might be given occasionally or continuously. The feeding bag and tubing are suspended on an IV pole for continuous feeding. The bag's distal end is attached to the feeding tube's proximal end.


How often should the Feeding Bag be changed?

Every 24 hours, the feeding bag should be changed. Food (formula) should not be stored in a bag for more than four hours. Therefore, 4 hours (or less) worth of food should be put in the feeding bag at a time.


What kinds of patients need Enteral Nutrition Feeding?

When the patient is suffering from any of the following cases:

-Prolonged anorexia
-Severe protein-energy malnutrition
-Coma or sensorium depression
-Failure of the liver
-Due to head or neck damage, the inability to accept oral feedings
-Critical illnesses (for example, burns) that cause metabolic stress, enteral feeding is considered


Who should not receive Enteral Nutrition?

If a person's stomach or intestines aren't working properly, they won't be able to receive enteral meals.

Enteral feedings are unlikely to benefit someone who has a bowel obstruction, restricted blood flow to their intestines (ischemic bowel), or severe intestinal disease such as Crohn's disease.


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