The use of nasogastric enteral feeding for nutritional support of hospitalized and homebound chronically iii individuals has been expanding during the past ten years. Nasogastric and nasoenteral alimentation is safer and more cost effective than total parenteral nutrition. Mechanical problems related to slowing of the formula and/or clogging of the tube have been reported but have received little attention in the research literature. This exploratory survey was designed to determine the extent of mechanical problems and the procedures used to care for enteral feeding tubes. Fifty-eight percent of 91 hospitals reported a significant occurrence of mechanical problems with small-diameter enteral feeding tubes, and only 31% had written procedures for care of the tubes. Implications for practice are discussed, and recommendations for further research in the area are proposed.
Questions or comments regarding this article may be directed to Barbara M. Petrosino at: University of Texas at Austin. School of Nursing, 1700 Red River. Austin, TX 78701–1499. She is an assistant professor of nursing, Marty Meraviglia is an instructor of nursing, and Heather Becker is a research associate at the School of Nursing.
© 1987 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses