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Br J Nurs. 2015 Feb 12-25;24(3):138, 140, 142-5. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2015.24.3.138.

Enteral tube feeding for dysphagic stroke patients.

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Lecturer, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Care, Edinburgh Napier University.


Enteral feeding tubes, a nasogastric tube (NGT) or percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG), are commonly used to provide nutrition, hydration and essential medications to stroke patients who cannot swallow. Early tube feeding is associated with improved survival after stroke and it is recommended that patients start tube feeding within 24 hours of hospital admission. NGT feeding is the preferred method for short-term feeding in the acute phase of stroke as it has the advantage of being easily placed at the bedside. However, there are often difficulties inserting the NGT and it can be easily dislodged by agitated and confused patients, leading to potentially fatal complications. A PEG tube is considered a more secure method of feeding stroke patients who require longer-term nutritional support, but it is an invasive procedure that can result in complications that are associated with an increased risk of morbidity and mortality after stroke. The aim of this article is to review the complications associated with enteral feeding tubes and discuss their prevention and management for stroke patients.


Complications; Dysphagia; Nasogastric tube; Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy; Stroke

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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