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Enteral Nutrition


Meeting Your Enteral Nutrition Needs

The Life Tech team works with the hospital's Registered Dietitians and physicians to ensure patients receive the best possible enteral nutrition care at home. Every patient has different nutritional needs, which is why we tailor our inventory of enteral nutrition offerings to include options in Feeding Pumps, Gravity Feed Systems, Bolus Feed Systems, Adult and Pediatric Enteral Formulas and more. If you have questions about our enteral nutrition products and services, get in touch today!

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Enteral Nutrition FAQs

We understand that beginning enteral nutrition can come with a lot of questions. Whether you need enteral nutrition feeding support yourself, or are overseeing the enteral nutrition care for your child, Life Tech wants to ensure you understand the services you’ll need every day. Below, you’ll find the most common questions we encounter related to enteral nutrition. If you don’t see your question, please contact the Life Tech staff and we’d be happy to assist you.

What is Enteral Nutrition?

Enteral nutrition, also known as tube feeding, is an alternative feeding option to allow patients who are not able to normally digest food. While “normal digestion” involves food being absorbed after it has made its way through the stomach and small intestine, enteral feeding delivers a liquid food mixture directly to the stomach and small intestine.

Why would someone need Enteral Feeding?

Enteral nutrition may be necessary for someone of any age. Enteral nutrition is most commonly needed for patients who are unable to take food orally due to a medical condition. These conditions can include:

  • Cancer
  • Stomach disease
  • Neurological disorders
  • Tracheostomy tube
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Trauma as a result of an accident

What is Enteral Nutrition Formula?

All enteral nutrition diets are made up of a special formula that is delivered directly into the stomach and small intestine through a feeding tube. Each formula contains a mixture of fats, sugars, minerals, vitamins and nutrients tailored to the patient’s unique dietary needs. If you need an enteral nutrition diet, your doctor will determine the formula that is most appropriate for you based on factors like:

  • Age
  • Dietary needs
  • Medical conditions
  • Medical history
  • Food allergies
  • Gastrointestinal functionality

How is Enteral Formula Delivered?

All enteral nutrition diets involve a tube supplying the formula. However, there are multiple ways for the tube to be placed to deliver the formula. The two options are:

  • Nasal tube – This involves the feeding tube is fed through the nose and down the esophagus to the stomach.
  • A gastrointestinal tube – With this option, the tube is placed through the skin to connect with the stomach or small intestine.

Your doctor will determine which option is the best for your unique dietary needs.

What Equipment Does Enteral Nutrition Require?

Enteral nutrition and tube feeding require specialized equipment to ensure the patient receives the proper delivery. Key pieces of equipment include:

  • Specialized formula
  • Feeding pump
  • Feeding bag
  • Feeding tube
  • A tube feed (this allows the tube to be placed correctly via the nose or through the skin into the stomach)
  • Syringe kits

How Often Do Feeding Tubes Need to Be Replaced?

Whether your tube is feeding formula through the nose or through the skin directly into the stomach, it is recommended you change the tube every 6 weeks.

Should Patients Skip Tube Feeding?

No, enteral feeding works best when patients keep to their schedule. Feedings should only be skipped if the patient is extremely bloated or feeling nauseous.

Can Medications Be Administered Via the Feeding Tube?

Medications can be administered via the feeding tube, but you should confirm with your doctor before administering any dosage. Any medication should be crushed and thoroughly mixed in with the formula to ensure feed lines do not get clogged. You should also be sure to flush the feeding tube both before and after the medication is administered. If the medication cannot be crushed, please consult your doctor and/or pharmacist to see if a liquid option is available.

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