Feeding Tube Awareness Week: Supporting patients via nutritional therapy

This week is Feeding Tube Awareness Week; a week aiming to spread awareness about the importance of feeding tubes in people’s lives, share the health benefits of enteral tube feeding, and serve to educate as many HealthCare Professionals and patients as possible about the reasons why children and adults are tube fed. Tube feeding is an essential nutritional support when nutritional requirements cannot be met orally. From children to seniors, anyone can receive tube feeding through different types of feeding tubes and can live well with it as long as it is needed. As Nutricia, our aim is to raise awareness and demonstrate the impact of tube feeding through real-life patient stories.

Enteral Tube feeding support

Tube feeding consists of special medical tube feeds and devices to deliver nutrition directly into the stomach or the intestine of patients who are unable to consume food in a usual way. Tube feeding can be a temporary feeding solution in acute illness conditions (e.g. critical illness, infection, trauma, surgery, etc.) as well as long-term life-sustaining solution in chronic illness conditions (e.g. cancer, neurological disorder, respiratory disease, etc.)

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.

Discover our patients stories:

Cees' story

Cees was diagnosed with Crohn's disease resulting in short bowel syndrome. Unable to eat independently anymore, he was tube fed after having lost strength and weight dramatically. Today, he is tube fed at night and eating normally during the day. Get ready to be moved and motivated by his strength and resilience, as he shares his message of hope:

"Thanks to tube feeding I got back to a normal weight and gained energy. My self-confidence grew back enormously! I took up various activities again. Today, nothing stops me from trying new things! Of course, sometimes life is hard but that will not defeat me."


Millie's story

Millie was diagnosed with Rett syndrome – a rare genetic neurological & developmental delay that affects the way the brain develops, causing a progressive loss of motor skills and speech. Millie seemed to develop normally for the 1st year of her life, but then she started losing skills she previously had – e.g. the ability to crawl, walk, communicate. It was extremely difficult for her to eat using her mouth, so at a very young age a feeding button had to be inserted on her skin, just above her stomach, to which a feeding tube was attached. Listen to Mille's mum sharing her experience with her beautiful smile.

"The first time you do things, it always breaks barriers, especially putting something into the feeding button. However, it was not as difficult as I had expected; it was so fine, so simple"

Millie’s mum

Claudia's story

Claudia was diagnosed with head and neck cancer in 2011.

During her treatment, she was enterally fed through a nasogastric feeding tube and then through a percutaneous endoscopic gastronomy tube to facilitate the need for long term enteral feeding administration.

"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."


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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