Table 21Complications of enteral tube feeding

InsertionNasal damage, intra-cranial insertion, pharyngeal/oesophageal pouch perforation, bronchial placement, precipitate variceal bleeding.
PEG/PEJ insertions – bleeding, intestinal/colonic perforation.
Post insertion traumaDiscomfort, erosions, fistulae and strictures.
DisplacementTube falls out’, bronchial administration of feed
RefluxOesophagitis, aspiration
GI intoleranceNausea, bloating, pain, diarrhoea
MetabolicRefeeding syndrome, hyper-glycaemia, fluid overload, electrolyte disturbance.

From: 9, Enteral tube feeding in hospital and the community

Cover of Nutrition Support for Adults
Nutrition Support for Adults: Oral Nutrition Support, Enteral Tube Feeding and Parenteral Nutrition.
NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 32.
National Collaborating Centre for Acute Care (UK).
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