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Am J Gastroenterol. 1989 Dec;84(12):1509-12.

Aspiration pneumonia in nursing home patients fed via gastrostomy tubes.

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Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Aspiration pneumonia is among the most serious complication of gastrostomy tube feedings. However, few data are available from the nursing home setting where tube feedings are used for extended periods. We reviewed 109 nursing facility charts in order to determine the incidence of, and risk factors for, aspiration pneumonia: 22.9% of gastrostomy tube-fed patients aspirated. A history of recent previous pneumonia was found in 40.7% of those who subsequently developed aspiration pneumonia. This was the only risk factor related (p less than 0.05) to subsequent aspiration pneumonia. No association was found with age, mental status, or the method of enteral formula administration (continuous vs. intermittent infusion). We conclude that patients with a previous history of pneumonia are a high risk group in which alternative forms of enteral alimentation (i.e., jejunostomy feedings) should be explored.

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