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: