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Bristol Home Infusion
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Enteral Nutrition


Enteral nutrition is a way to provide nutrients through a tube placed into the gastrointestinal tract and is often referred to as "tube feeding"

The need for enteral nutrition arises when a patient is unable to ingest or tolerate an oral diet and its use may be short or long in duration. A tube placed through the nose is called a nasogastric tube (NG tube), through the skin to the stomach is a gastrostomy tube (G tube) or percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube (PEG tube), or into the small intestine is a jejunostomy tube (J tube).


There are several diagnoses that may require the use of enteral nutrition. Swallowing is a complicated biological process. The inability to swallow appropriately, known as dysphagia, may result in aspiration of food into the lungs. Cancer of the esophagus or stomach may prohibit food from entering the gastrointestinal tract. Short bowel syndrome or malabsorption may result in prolonged nutrient loses. Burns, surgery, infection, trauma, or illness or a diagnosis of failure to thrive my increase caloric needs while impairing intake and retention of nutrients.

Enteral nutrition has risks and complications associated with its use. Mechanical complications are the most common. The feeding tube can become obstructed, inhibiting the flow of nutrition. Infection at the site of tube entry is a persistent risk. The patient may also have difficulties with maintaining electrolyte balance and adequate hydration. Patients receiving enteral nutrition may also experience esophageal reflux, aspiration, refeeding syndrome, and diarrhea.

Administration may be accomplished via bolus feedings, gravity, or by use of an enteral pump. Bolus feedings are administered by slowly pouring the prescribed amount of formula into the barrel of a special syringe attached to the opening of the tube and allowing the formula to flow into the tube. Using an attached bag system to contain the liquid diet for feeding is a secondary method by which food is allowed to drip slowly into the tube though “gravity feeding”. Often, the rate of flow of the formula is controlled by an enteral pump. When feeding the patient, it is imperative that the caregiver or patient thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water before preparing formula or having contact with the feeding tube. The tube should be checked for patency, and the formula administered at room temperature. The patient should be upright, no less than thirty degrees, to minimize the risk of regurgitation and aspiration, and they should be kept upright for thirty to sixty minutes after feeding. To prevent complications (abdominal cramping, nausea and vomiting, gastric distension, diarrhea, aspiration), food should be infused slowly.

Enteral Feeding Pumps


Pole Mounted Pumps

Kangaroo Pump

Kangaroo Pump: Manual Link:



Ambulatory Pumps

infinity-enteral-pump Infinity Enteral Pump: Manual Link:
IV Enteral Compounding Contact