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|Tube Feeding Tips: New Tube Feeders|
Questions New Tube Feeders Should Be Asking
I have pseudo-obstruction and have been on homePEN for more than four years (two years on TPN followed by enteral feeding). Comparing these two feeding methods is like comparing night to day. So if you switch from one to the other, your expectations are in for a jolt. Changing from a CVC to a G-J tube was an experience. The careful education given for TPN is sorely lacking for those of us getting a line for enteral feeding. Ironically, most people beginning tube feeding don’t even know what questions to ask their physician/clinician. Following are some I recommend:
1. Request a thorough explanation of the procedure to be used.
2. Will I be put to sleep for the procedure?
3. What type of tube are you placing?
4. What dictates where the stoma is placed? Where will mine be placed? Can it be place where my belt and/or clothing won’t rub or irritate it?
5. Will I be able to bathe or swim with the tube? How soon after the procedure?
6. Why is it dressed differently than a CVC?
7. What do I do when the site gets infected or irritated?
8. What can I use to prevent the tube from being pulled out? And what do I do if it does come out?
These are just a start, but should help stimulate new EN feeders’ thoughts as to what questions they will need addressed. Two other important topics to ask about, include your pump, and care of the stoma while it is healing. (The instructions I received only covered caring for a well healed stoma.)