Tube feed products are required for patients who need to be enterally fed because they can no longer meet their nutritional requirements through food or oral supplements alone, or they are not safe for oral intake. When a patient is enterally fed, it means that their nutrition (in the form of a tube feed) is fed directly into their stomach or small intestine via a tube. Tube feeding products can meet all nutritional needs as a sole source of nutrition if required or they may be used to supplement other feeding depending on disease state and nutritional requirements. It is essential that patients have a functioning gastrointestinal tract to be able to receive enteral nutrition.
Some conditions which may require tube feed products for enteral feeding include:
- Post-operative patients
- Critically ill patients
- Cystic fibrosis
- Neurological and psychiatric conditions
- Swallowing disorders
- Severe malnutrition
- Altered conscious state
In some clinical conditions, such as gut failure, intestinal obstruction, or an inability to gain enteral access, it may be necessary to bypass the gut and deliver nutrients directly into the bloodstream (parenteral nutrition) 1.
Nestle Health Science are committed to providing a complete range of tube feed products which include standard and high energy feeds, as well as high protein, high fibre, dairy free and low FODMAP options for all your patients’ enteral nutrition requirements. Tube feeds are classified as food for special medical purposes and are used under medical supervision.
1Dietitians Association of Australia. (2011, October). Enteral nutrition manual for adults in healthcare facilities. Retrieved 31st August 2016