Best Practices with Use of Feeding Tubes for Children at Home
Regena Spratling, Rebecca Chambers, Patricia Lawrence, and Melissa Spezia Faulkner
The use of feeding tubes in children is often a common and necessary practice in the nutritional care of children because over 300 conditions require the placement of a feeding tube. The usage of feeding tubes specifically in children continues to grow, with an estimated 189,000 pediatric patients in 2013 requiring home enteral nutrition. It is important to prepare informal caregivers (e.g., parents, foster or adoptive parents, grandparents) of these children managed in home settings how to anticipate and address complications. The focus of this review includes best practices in the care of children with feeding tubes: nasogastric, orogastric, gastrostomy, jejunostomy, and combined gastrostomy/jejunostomy tubes. Trouble shooting problems, such as replacing the gastrostomy tube if dislodged, checking placement of tubes, and managing clogged tubes, are described.