Feeding Tube Awareness Week: Supporting patients in critical care and beyond via nutritional interventions

This week is Feeding Tube Awareness Week, a week aiming to promote the positive benefits of tube feeding, as well as serving to educate as many patients as possible about the reasons why children and adults are tube fed.

Tube feeding support

Tube feeding is a nutritional solution that consists of special medical feeds and devices to provide the feed. It delivers nutrition directly into the stomach or the intestine of patients who are unable to consume food in a usual way. This could be a result of an acute illness, surgery or for patients who are temporarily or permanently unable to swallow. Tube feeding can be a temporary feeding solution in acute conditions, as well as long term life sustaining solution in chronic conditions.

Nutritional interventions in critical care and beyond

Loss of muscle mass and malnutrition is common among critically ill patients1. Approximately 50% will not meet their nutritional targets while in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU)2. Malnourished patients may be susceptible to complications such as prolonged respiratory dysfunction and increased mortality3. Nutritional interventions can be crucial to ensure growth in children or conserve a patient’s lean body mass during a stay in the ICU, as well as after discharge to ensure recovery.

To understand what it is like to be tube-fed, watch Claudia and Frankie’s stories:

Claudia's story

"I was diagnosed with head and neck cancer in 2011. During my treatment journey I had first-hand experience of living with a feeding tube. If I had known how easy life would be being enterally fed; then I would have accepted to start much earlier."


Frankie's story

"Frankie was born with a heart condition and he was tube fed straight away. His feeds have been his main source of food and fluid, for him to grow up, and he’s done fantastic with them. We treat him like every other child, he can run, jump, play. We don’t let anything stop him."

Frankie’s mum

At Nutricia we understand the importance of optimal nutritional support and strive to offer innovative feeding solutions designed for the ICU and surgical environments. We support healthcare professionals by offering a comprehensive range of tube feeds, complimented with medical devices, accessories and services to help provide the best care to their patients.

Nutricia’s tube feeds are Food for Special Medical Purposes and must be used under medical supervision.

  1. Wischmeyer PE. Current Opinion in Critical Care. 2016;22:279-84.
  2. Heyland DK, Cahill NE, Dhaliwal R, et al. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. 2010;34:675-84.
  3. Heyland DK, Weijs PJM, Coss-Bu JA, et al. Nutrition in Clinical Practice. 2017;32:58S-71S.

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