Approximately 50% of patients with head and neck cancer will require enteral nutrition.*
It is estimated that 13,000 new cases of head and neck cancer were diagnosed in 2017. *
Greaves, J.R. (2018). Head and Neck Cancer Tumor Seeding at the
Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy Site. Nutrition in Clinical
Practice, 33(1), 73-80.
Enteral access device clogging may be caused by significant contamination that causes the formula to coagulate.*
Significant contamination would have bacterial counts of 107 cfu/mL. *
* Lord, L.M. “Restoring and Maintaining Patency of Enteral Feeding Tubes.” Nutrition in Clinical Practice. 2003; 18(5):422-426.
Improper drug administration can lead to feeding tube occlusion, increased toxicity or reduced efficacy of the drug.*
According to one survey, 74% of hospital staff used at least 2 incorrect methods to administer drugs via feeding tubes.*
Beckwith, M. C., Feddema, S. S., Barton, R. G., & Graves, C.
(2004). A Guide to Drug Therapy in Patients with Enteral Feeding Tubes:
Dosage Form Selection and Administration Methods. Hospital Pharmacy,
39(3), 225–237. https://doi.org/10.1177/001857870403900308|
Gastric residual volume (GRV) checks increase enteral access device (EAD) clogging even when a 10-mL water flush is provided before and after GRV check.1
Acidic environments reportedly promote coagulation of protein formulas.2
Powell KS, Marcuard SP, Farrior ES, et al. Aspirating gastric
residuals causes occlusion of small-bore feeding tubes. J Parenter
Enteral Nutr 1993;17:243-246.
Bourgault, Annette M., Heyland, Daren K., Drover, John W., Keefe,
Laurie, Newman, Paula, and Day, Andrew G. “Prophylactic Pancreatic
Enzymes to Reduce Feeding Tube Occlusions.” American Society for
Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. 2003; 18:398-401.
Clogged tubes interfere with tube feeding and water delivery, placing patients at risk for malnutrition and dehydration.*
Dehydration can lead to both morbidity and mortality.
* Lord, L. (2011). Maintaining hydration and tube patency in enteral tube feedings. Safe Practices in Patient Care. 5. 1-11.|