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Home enteral feeding audit 1 year post-initiation

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Abstract Objective 

To determine the practical problems that families of children on home enteral tube feeds (HETF) experience in the first year post-hospital discharge. Methods 

Thirty parents/carers of children (0–16 years) completed a multiple choice/short answer questionnaire by interview 12 months after discharge from hospital. Issues addressed included: home delivery of feed and equipment; pump usage; tube changes; and overnight feeding. Results 

The main problems identified were: sleep disturbance (75%); frequent tube dislodgement (46%); tube blockages (41%); inability of some home delivery companies (HDC) to provide all the paediatric special feeds required (43%); and pump inaccuracy (23%). Conclusions 

Children on long-term HETF and their families experience significant problems with sleep disturbance, tube dislodgement and tube blockage. In addition, accuracy of pumps and obtaining feed and equipment was a source of stress. Dietitians and community nurses urgently need to explore solutions to the common problems associated with overnight feeding. Furthermore, regular home reviews are necessary in long-term HETF to continue to identify and minimize problems.

Keywords: enteral feeding pump; home delivery company; home enteral tube feeding; sleep disturbance; tube blockage; tube dislodgement

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Departments of Dietetics 2: Nutritional Care, Birmingham Children's Hospital, Birmingham, UK

Publication date: February 1, 2006


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