One community hospital replaced an average of 22 long-term feeding tubes per month.*
Most of the feeding tubes required replacement because they were clogged or dislodged.*
* Shipley, K., Gallo, A., Fields, W. Is Your Feeding Tube Clogged? Maintenance of Gastrostomy and Gastrojejunostomy Tubes. Medsurge Nursing. 2016; 25(4): 224-228.
Improper drug administration can lead to a feeding tube clog, increased toxicity, or reduced efficacy of the drug.*
Medications cause occlusion in approximately 15% of patients with enteral 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
Medication formulations, such as liquid or compressed tablets, are often not appropriate for administration via enteral tubes.*
Certain suspensions, syrups, and acidic elixirs may thicken or clump and clog the feeding tube.*
* Williams, N.T. Medication Administration Through Enteral Feeding Tubes. Am J Health-Syst Pharm, 2008; 65: 2347-2357.
Starting enteral nutrition more than 3 days after ICU admission was associated with increased length of stay.
Critically ill patients should be started on enteral tube feeds within 48 hours of intubation whenever possible.
| 1. Bourgault, A.M., Ipe, L., Weaver, J., Swartz, S., O’Dea, P.J. Development of Evidence-Based Guidelines and Critical Care Nurses ’ Knowledge of Enteral Feeding. Critical Care Nurse, 2007; 27(4):17-29. |
2. Fremont, R. D., Rice, T.W. How soon should we start interventional feeding in the ICU? Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2014 March; 30(2): 178–181.
It is recommended to address feeding tube clogs as soon as possible.*
The longer the wait, the less likely the declogging will be successful.*
Lord, L.M. (2018), Enteral Access Devices: Types, Function, Care, and
Challenges. Nutrition in Clinical Practice, 33(1): 16-38. doi:
13.4% of patients who were diagnosed as malnourished received either parenteral or enteral nutrition during their hospital stay.
Enteral nutrition is preferred over parenteral nutrition because it is cheaper and has a lower risk of complications (especially infection).
1. Corkins, M., Guenter,
P., DiMario-Ghalili, R., Jensen, G., Malone, A., Miller, S., Patel, V.,
Plogsted, S., Resnick, H. Malnutrition Diagnoses in Hospitalized
Patients. Journal of Pareneteral and Enteral Nutrition. 2014; 38(2):
2. Hyeda A, Costa ÉSMD.
Economic analysis of costs with enteral and parenteral nutritional
therapy according to disease and outcome. Einstein (Sao Paulo).