Enteral feeding is the administration of essential nutrients and calories directly into the stomach or intestine via a feeding tube. It could help maintain the caloric and nutritional requirements of an individual with difficulty in taking enough food orally.
It could be given through nasoenteric or nasogastric tubes, or in some cases, a gastrostomy is done to cater to other ways of instilling the tube feeding to the gastrointestinal tract, like for instance percutaneous gastrostomy, jejunostomy, needle catheter jejunostomy or sometimes an esophagostomy tube.
Enteral feeding formulas come in various preparations depending on the client’s nutritional requirements. It is calculated by physicians and dieticians to ensure the proper amount, consistency, frequency, and type of feeding formula.
Clients who are often preferred by physicians to have enteral feeding are those with conditions that interfere with their nutritional intake like malignancies, burns, fluid and electrolyte imbalance, neurological disorders or damage, inflammatory bowel disease.
The goal in enteral feeding obviously is to maintain the proper nutritional status of the client. Other considerations may involve risk precautions for aspiration, ensuring patency of tube feeding, watching out for electrolyte imbalances or other untoward reactions, and adequate health teaching of client and family members on enteral feeding.