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Use of stomach feeds 'needs to be reassessed'

Published on 08/01/2010
Treating patients as 'nil by mouth' should be a last resort rather than the default option when it comes to medical care, experts have said.

A new study published by the Royal College of Physicians in conjunction with the British Society of Gastroenterology suggests that food consumed through the mouth should be the main aim of nutrition planning for patients at the end of their life.

The recommendation follows evidence of poor practice involving the use of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) feeding tubes, which deliver food directly to the stomach usually through a hole created in the abdomen, and difficulties associated with the method.

Co-author of the report Dr David Sanders said: "The use of stomach tubes for feeding does need to be reassessed as it is a widespread problem.

"It seems tubes are being placed perhaps with a lower threshold which leads to patients who may not benefit from a PEG sometimes having one inserted."

PEG feeding tubes are often used in patients with neurological conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, dementia and stroke, and head and neck cancers.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010

Categories:  Medical
Use of stomach feeds 'needs to be reassessed'Treating patients as 'nil by mouth' should be a last resort rather than the default option when it comes to medical care, experts have said.    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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