Nutrition/Enteral Feedings

Signature Health Services can help with nutrition/enteral feedings.

Nutrition/Enteral Feedings

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.

  • Orogastric tube (OGT) from the mouth to the stomach
  • Nasogastric tube (NGT) from the nose to the stomach
  • Oroenteric tube from the mouth to the intestines
  • Nasoenteric tube from the nose to the intestines (subtypes include nasojejunal and nasoduodenal tubes)
  • The Gastrostomy tube is placed through the abdomen directly to the stomach.
  • The Jejunostomy tube is placed through the abdomen directly into the intestines.
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:

  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Critical illness or injury
  • Inability to eat in infants or young children, or failure to thrive
  • Neurological disorders
  • Mobility impairments
  • GI dysfunction or disease

Some complications can occur because of enteral nutrition. Some of the most common include:

  • Aspiration (food going into the lungs)
  • Infection of the tube or insertion site
  • Nausea and vomiting a the beginning of the therapies
  • Skin irritation at the tube insertion site
  • Diarrhea due to a liquid diet or medications
  • Tube dislodgement
  • Tube blockage

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.

Enteral nutrition at home

For more information on how Signature Health Services can help with your healthcare needs, please call 1 (800) 277-8291 (option 1) or email

Nutrition/Enteral Feedings

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