9.4.2 Enteral nutrition

The following information is taken from NICE CG32- Nutrition support in adults (February 2006).

  • Feed via a tube into the stomach unless there is upper GI dysfunction
  • In people with upper GI dysfunction or an inaccessible GI tract, consider duodenal or jejunal feeding
  • Use gastrostomy for long-term enteral feeding (>4 weeks)
  • PEG tubes can be used 4 hours after insertion
  • Use bolus or continuous delivery when feeding into the stomach taking into account patient preference, convenience and drug administration
  • In intensive care patients having nasogastric enteral tube feeding, deliver continuously over 16-24 hours daily
  • If insulin is needed, give feed over 24 hours
  • If intestinal tolerance limits enteral tube feeding in surgical or critical care patients, use parenteral nutrition to supplement or replace enteral tube feeding
  • Give a motility agent e.g. metoclopramide, to patients who have delayed gastric emptying. If this is ineffective consider post-pyloric enteral tube feeding and/or parenteral nutrition

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