Food is essential for people to stay alive. However, there are situations in which people are not able to eat sufficient, or even any, food, for instance because of an illness. Others may find have had surgery that interferes with their ability to eat, struggle to swallow, or a decreased appetite. Whatever the reason for people’s inability to eat, or eat enough, when this happens, it is vital that nutrition is supplied through other methods. One option is to provide people with enteral nutrition with Kangaroo feeding pumps.
Digestion happens normally when food enters the stomach, where it is broken down, before entering the bowel. There, it is absorbed and nutrients are delivered throughout the body. The blood carries these nutrients, ensuring every cell receives what it needs. When someone requires tube or enteral feeding, they are provided with a special nutritious food liquid, which contains minerals, vitamins, fats, carbohydrates, sugars, and proteins. The tube goes straight into the stomach, or even the bowel.
Who May Need Enteral Feeding with Kangaroo Feeding Pumps?
Anyone could find themselves in a situation where they need tube feeding. It can be provided to pediatric patients, young people, adults, and the geriatric. It is possible to live a normal, healthy life through this type of feeding for however long it is necessary. However, it is preferred for tube feeding to only be provided on a short time basis. Once someone is able to eat again, the tube will be removed.
How Is the Food Supplied?
There are various tubes that can be used to provide people with enteral nutrition. One method is to insert a feeding tube through the nose, until it reaches the stomach or the bowel. This method is known as nasoenteral or nasogastric feeding. In other situations, the tube has to be placed directly into the bowel or the stomach, which is done through an incision in the skin. This method is known as a jejunostomy or gastrostomy. A patient’s health care team, including pharmacists, dietitians, nurses, and doctors, will discuss the options, their individual pros and cons, and their recommendations with the patient before coming to a decision.
How Common Is Tube Feeding?
Tube feeding is very common in this country, particularly for patients who are in hospital. The National Center for Health Statistics has reported that tube feeding is used in around 245,000 hospitalized patients every year. They also reported that around 15% of these patients were newborns and children.
Besides hospitalized patients, tube feeding can also be delivered at home. In 2000, the NCHS Home Survey stated that some 30,700 individuals receive enteral nutrition at home. It is also known that many patients in long term care facilities use tube feeding, but there are currently no statistics on exactly how many. Lastly, there are a number of incarcerated individuals, and protest activists, who receive enteral feeding due to being on hunger strike. It is not clear how many people currently do this in this country.