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Indian J Palliat Care. 2012 Jan;18(1):31-3. doi: 10.4103/0973-1075.97346.

Feeding Tube-related Complications and Problems in Patients Receiving Long-term Home Enteral Nutrition.

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1
Department of Surgery and Artificial Nutrition Unit, "St. Andrew" General Hospital, Patra, Greece.

Abstract

AIM:

The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term complications and problems related to gastrostomy and jejunostomy feeding tubes used for home enteral nutrition support and the effect these have on health care use.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

The medical records of 31 patients having gastrostomy (27 patients) and jejunostomy (4) feeding tubes inserted in our Department were retrospectively studied. All were discharged on long-term (>3 months) enteral nutrition and followed up at regular intervals by a dedicated nurse. Any problem or complication associated with tube feeding as well as the intervention, if any, that occurred, was recorded. Data were collected and analyzed.

RESULTS:

All the patients were followed up for a mean of 17.5 months (4-78). The most frequent tube-related complications included inadvertent removal of the tube (broken tube, plugged tube; 45.1%), tube leakage (6.4%), dermatitis of the stoma (6.4%), and diarrhea (6.4%). There were 92 unscheduled health care contacts, with an average rate of such 2.9 contacts over the mean follow-up time of 17.5 months.

CONCLUSION:

In patients receiving long-term home enteral nutrition, feeding tube-related complications and problems are frequent and result in significant health care use. Further studies are needed to address their optimal prevention modalities and management.

KEYWORDS:

Complications; Gastrostomy; Home enteral nutrition; Jejunostomy

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