Liquid Tube Feeding

What is liquid tube feeding?

Liquid tube feeding is complete nutrition that is given to patients when they can not eat normally. There are several kinds of liquid preparations, all of which are excellent sources of nutrition. Some liquid tube feedings have special proteins, vitamins, fats or elements that may be helpful to patients with certain conditions.

How are liquid tube feedings given to the patient?

Liquid tube feedings are usually given to patients through feeding tubes. Feeding tubes may be placed in the patient's nose, mouth or abdomen. The liquid tube feeding is given onto the stomach or directly into the intestines. Tube feedings may be seen hanging at the bedside from an IV pole. The tube feedings may be given through a tube feeding pump to assure that the patient receives the exact amount of nutrition that the dietician and doctor ordered.

Does the process of liquid tube feeding hurt?

No. Patients usually do not know that they are receiving tube feeding unless they are told. Occasionally a patient may feel bloated or sick to their stomach when tube feedings are given. If this happens the nurse should be told.

Are there any potential complications associated with liquid tube feeding?

Liquid tube feedings are given to many of the ICU patients and are very safe. Diarrhea, bloating, nausea (sick to the stomach), and vomiting are the major complications that may occur with liquid tube feedings.

Liquid tube feeding container Feeding tube (black arrow) designed to go past the stomach