Tube Feeding Routes: Advantages and Disadvantages

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24 Questions

What is the primary route through which enteral nutrition delivers nutrients?

Via a flexible tube

Why is enteral nutrition preferred when the GI tract is functioning?

It is less expensive and has fewer infectious complications

What is the primary difference between parenteral and enteral nutrition?

The method of administration

Which of the following is NOT an example of an oral supplement mentioned in the text?

Intravenous supplements

Why are taste and ease of consumption important considerations for oral supplements?

To meet patient preferences and improve compliance

Which of the following is NOT a popular liquid supplement sold in stores as mentioned in the text?

Intravenous Boost

What is the purpose of tube feeding?

To aid in swallowing disorders

Which of the following is a contraindication for tube feedings?

Severe GI bleeding

Who are candidates for tube feedings according to the text?

Patients with little or no appetite for short periods

What is enteral nutrition primarily used for?

To deliver liquid formula directly to the GI tract

When might tube feeding be contraindicated?

If expected nutrition support is short-term

What condition would NOT make a patient a candidate for tube feeding?

Having an extremely high appetite

Which factor influences the feeding route chosen for tube feeding?

Patient's medical condition

What is a disadvantage of transnasal tube feeding?

Easy to remove by patients

Which tube feeding route has the highest risk of aspiration in compromised patients?


What is a disadvantage of nasoduodenal and nasojejunal tube feeding?

Risk of tube migration to the small intestine

Which tube feeding route allows for earlier feedings during acute stress?


What is a common disadvantage of long-term use of transnasal tube feeding?

Irritation of nasal passages and throat

What is an advantage of tube enterostomies?

Keep the lower esophageal sphincter closed to reduce aspiration risk

Why might general anesthesia be required for surgically placed tubes?

To ensure patient comfort during the procedure

What is a disadvantage of gastrostomy feedings?

Feedings are often withheld before and after the procedure

Why might jejunostomy be preferred despite being the most difficult insertion procedure?

Allows earlier tube feedings than gastrostomy during critical illness

Which access route has a moderate risk of aspiration in high-risk patients?


Why might tube enterostomies be considered more comfortable than transnasal insertion for long-term use?

Are not visible under clothing

Study Notes

Enteral Nutrition Support

  • Enteral nutrition provides nutrients using the GI tract.
  • It delivers nutrients via a flexible tube to the stomach or small intestine.

Comparison with Parenteral Nutrition

  • Parenteral nutrition delivers nutrients intravenously.
  • Enteral nutrition is preferred if the GI tract is functioning because it is less expensive and associated with fewer infectious complications.

Oral Supplements

  • Examples of oral supplements include nutrient-dense milkshakes, fruit drinks, puddings, and snack bars.
  • Taste is an important consideration when choosing oral supplements.
  • Popular liquid supplements sold in stores include Ensure, Boost, and Carnation Breakfast Essentials.

Enteral Nutrition in Medical Care

  • Enteral nutrition is used for patients with a functional GI tract who cannot meet nutritional needs with regular foods alone.
  • Candidates for tube feedings include those with:
    • Swallowing disorders
    • Impaired motility in the upper GI tract
    • GI obstructions
    • Intestinal surgeries
    • Mechanical ventilation
    • Little or no appetite for extended periods
    • Extremely high nutrient requirements
    • Mental incapacitation (e.g. coma, neurological disorders)

Contraindications for Tube Feedings

  • Severe GI bleeding
  • Intractable vomiting or diarrhea
  • Severe malabsorption
  • Expected need for nutrition support is less than 5 to 7 days in a malnourished patient or less than 7 to 9 days in an adequately nourished patient.

Tube Feeding Routes

  • The feeding route chosen depends on the patient's medical condition, expected duration of tube feeding, and potential complications of a particular route.
  • There are several types of tube feeding routes, including:
    • Transnasal
    • Nasogastric
    • Nasoduodenal and nasojejunal
    • Tube enterostomies (e.g. gastrostomy, jejunostomy)

Comparison of Tube-Feeding Routes

  • Each route has its own advantages and disadvantages, which are summarized in Table 20-1.

Explore the different feeding routes for tube feeding and learn about their advantages and disadvantages. Understand how the choice of feeding route is influenced by the patient's medical condition, expected duration of tube feeding, and potential complications.

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