Christopher R Lynch MD John C Fang MD and Stephen A McClave MD

Contents

1 Introduction

2 Nasal Tubes

3 Enterostomy Tubes

4 Care of the Feeding Tube

5 Conclusions

Summary

Enteral nutrition is the route of choice in patients with a functioning gastrointestinal tract. Early enteral nutrition has been shown to improve outcomes in a variety of critically ill patient populations. Enteral nutritional support is indicated for patients with poor volitional intake, neurological impairment, oropharyngeal dysfunction, short gut syndrome, and major trauma or burns. A number of enteral access options are available to patients in need of nutritional support. Consideration of the appropriate device, position in the gastrointestinal tract, and insertion method are critical to ensure optimal outcomes. Percutaneous enteral feeding tubes are indicated in patients requiring long-term (>4-6 weeks) enteral access. Enteral access tubes may be placed by endoscopic, fluoroscopic, or surgical methods. The exact method utilized often depends on local expertise and availability. In addition, appropriate aftercare and monitoring with early recognition and treatment of any complications are crucial to the success of enteral nutrition access.

From: Clinical Gastroenterology: Nutrition and Gastrointestinal Disease Edited by: M.H. DeLegge © Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ

KeyWords: Enteral nutrition, Enteral feeding tubes, Enteral access, Percutaneous feeding tubes

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