FOR PATIENTS

Tube feeding has come a long way since its humble beginning. Advances in the sciences of food, food technology, nutrition and medicine have established tube feeding as a standard measure for restoring or preserving nutrition health in chronically or critically ill patients.1

Occasionally, some people will experience challenges when adjusting to tube feeding. While it’s important to be aware of potential tube feeding problems, it’s important to remember that these problems can largely be anticipated and prevented.2

Your healthcare team will help you learn how to prevent and deal with possible tube feeding problems with education around:

  • Caring for your tube
  • Maintaining your equipment
  • Optimising your tube feeding plan
  • Where to go for support

Even when you go home, you won’t be left alone to resolve any tube feeding problems on your own. You’ll be given information on the community support available to you, including your community nurse and dietitian.

Tube feeding problems

At some point, people may run into a problem with their feeding tube. The first time this happens, you’re likely to feel panicked and confused about what to do. This is completely natural, but you’ll find that with time and practice, you’ll come to learn how to solve most tube feeding problems on your own.

Even though regular maintenance and care make tube feeding problems unlikely, possible challenges include:

  • the tube becomes blocked
  • the tube falls out
  • leaks or fluid around the tube
  • discomfort when feeding
  • infection or irritation of skin around the tube

Your healthcare team can support you if you encounter tube feeding problems, and we offer a downloadable summary of possible tube feeding problems, their causes and solutions as well. There are also many simple long-term care measures you can take in order to avoid these problems from happening.

Side effects of tube feeding

When you start tube feeding, you may experience certain side effects until you and your healthcare team adjust your tube feeding routine so it’s just right for you.

Tube feeding can have the same effect on your body as any other big change in your diet, including:

  • upset stomach
  • diarrhoea
  • constipation
  • wind or back pain

Such side effects can of course be unpleasant, but there are ways you can minimise their risk by taking preventative measures. It takes time, but you’ll come to learn how to avoid possible tube feeding problems and fully optimise all the benefits of tube feeding.

FOR PARENTS

Tube feeding has come a long way since its humble beginning. Advances in the sciences of food, food technology, nutrition and medicine have established tube feeding as a standard measure for restoring or preserving nutrition health in chronically or critically ill patients.1

Occasionally, some parents and children will experience challenges when adjusting to tube feeding. While it’s important to be aware of potential tube feeding problems, it’s important to remember that these problems can largely be anticipated and prevented.2

Your healthcare team will help you learn how to prevent and deal with possible tube feeding problems with education around:

  • Caring for your child’s tube
  • Maintaining equipment
  • Optimising your child’s tube feeding plan
  • Where to go for support

Even when you go home, you won’t be left alone to resolve any tube feeding problems on your own. You’ll be given information on the community support available to you, including your community nurse and dietitian.

Tube feeding problems

At some point, you might run into a problem with your child’s feeding tube. The first time this happens, you’re likely to feel panicked and confused about what to do. This is completely natural, but you’ll find that with time and practice, you’ll come to learn how to solve most tube feeding problems on your own.

Even though regular maintenance and care make these problems unlikely, possible challenges include:

  • the tube becomes blocked
  • the tube falls out
  • leaks or fluid around the tube
  • discomfort when feeding
  • infection or irritation of skin around the tube

Your healthcare team can support you if you encounter tube feeding problems. There are also many simple long-term care measures you can take in order to avoid these problems from happening.

Side effects of tube feeding

When your child starts tube feeding, he or she may experience certain side effects until you and your healthcare team adjust the tube feeding routine so it’s just right for your child.

Tube feeding can have the same effect on your child’s body as any other big change in his or her diet, including:

  • upset stomach
  • diarrhoea
  • constipation
  • wind or back pain

Such side effects can of course be unpleasant, but there are ways you can minimise their risk by taking preventative measures. It takes time, but you’ll come to learn how to avoid possible tube feeding problems so that your child is fully benefiting from  tube feeding.

References
  1. Chernoff R. An overview of tube feeding: from ancient times to the future. Nutrition Clin Pract 2006;21:408–410.
  2. Payne-James J (2001). Chapter 19: Complications of enteral nutrition. In: Payne-James J (ed). Artificial Nutrition Support in Clinical Practice, 2nd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 335-345.