Sometimes, a patient can’t eat any or enough food because of an illness, a diminished appetite due to swallowing difficulties, or surgery that interferes with eating. When this occurs, doctors must supply nutrition differently. One method is enteral nutrition.
Enteral nutrition refers to food intake via the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Therefore, enteral nutrition takes the food directly to the stomach or small intestine.
Patients who have lost the ability to eat by themselves often need the food to be administered directly into their mouths. It is the easiest method because food is combined with medications or nutritional products in a form the patient can swallow.
Through a tube
When nutrition can not be taken by mouth, patients must get it into the gut by a tube. If the patient does not recover quickly, a more permanent tube could be placed through the abdomen and directly into the stomach.
When tube feeding occurs outside the hospital, it is referred to as home enteral nutrition (HEN). A HEN care team can teach you how to feed yourself through a tube and support you when encountering problems.
Enteral nutrition might be when a patient can’t eat enough calories to meet their nutritional requirements. For example, if a patient physically can’t eat, can’t eat with safety, or if their caloric needs are increased beyond their ability to eat.
Some reasons for enteral nutrition include:
Critical illness or injury
Inability to eat in infants or young children, or failure to thrive
Enteral feeding is usually a short-term solution while a patient recovers from an illness, injury, or surgery. Nevertheless, enteral feeding is a long-term solution in some situations, such as for children with physical disabilities or people with movement disorders. Enteral feeding could look like a challenging adjustment for patients and families. However, doctors, nurses, nutritionists, and home health care providers can help make this adjustment successful.
Patients with a feeding tube can generally move along their houses comfortably; however, some could still have fears and restraints. We alleviate any worry by ensuring that our nurses are properly trained and maintain the nutrition method clean and neat.
At Signature, we have the experience and resources to provide the best support for the patient and the family. Also, our registered nurses and licensed therapists may help with recovery assistance and could support the rehabilitation process.
For more information on how Signature Health Services can help with your healthcare needs, please call 1 (800) 277-8291 (option 1) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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