Enteral nutrition by tube feeding in adults.Natl Med J India. 2001 Sep-Oct; 14(5):285-9.NM
Patients who cannot eat enough require alternatives to oral feeding. Tube feeding is one such method for patients with a functioning gut. The techniques for the placement of feeding tubes and diets for tube feeding have improved during the past 20 years. Comfortable thin-bore polyurethane tubes are replacing the thicker vinyl tubes. Long term access routes such as gastrostomy and jejunostomy are being done by endoscopic or radiological techniques. Pre-defined formula feeds have reduced the effort and labour involved in the preparation, storage and administration of blenderized tube feeds. However, the use of soft feeding tubes and commercial formulae will increase the cost of nutrition therapy in India. The ultimate cost-effectiveness of tube feeding will depend on whether it is used appropriately during an illness with adequate delivery of feeds, and whether attention is given to small details by a dedicated nutritional support team. A strong commitment to the scientific use of nutritional support is necessary for getting the best results from tube feeding in everyday practice.