Feeding Tubes

Topics: Term, Time, Feeding tube Pages: 4 (1351 words) Published: September 23, 2006
In society today, we often have to make decisions. Some of these decisions may mean the life or death of a loved one. The decision of whether or not to administer artificial nutrition and hydration as a form of life support is one decision that some people have to make. I feel that tube feedings, while okay for short term use are fine, but they should not be used as a form of long term care because the risks outweigh the benefits of having a feeding tube.

A tube feeding is a medical procedure that people can accept or deny. Feeding tubes provide a chemically balanced mix of nutrients and fluid to those who are unable to swallow, eat, or drink enough nutrition to maintain proper nutrition and hydration. " Doctors and nurses, rather than the patients themselves, often control how much will be taken by tube." (Fade, 2). While providing nutrition and hydration, tube feeding does not offer the same sensory rewards as actual eating and drinking.

Feeding tubes can replace eating and drinking on a short or long term basis. People recovering from surgery often have feeding tubes for a short term to improve the healing process. People with increased nutritional requirements or those who cannot swallow will benefit from short-term use. Feeding tubes when used on a short-term basis are beneficial. However, when used on a long-term basis, feeding tubes are less beneficial because they become a form of life support. I feel they should not be used as a form of long term care.

Whether used for a short or long term basis, there are several types of feeding tubes. Nasogastric tubes are placed into the stomach via the nasal passage. Gastrostomy tubes are inserted through the abdomen wall with a surgical procedure. Another type of feeding tube is the jejunostomy tube, which is also surgically inserted into the small intestine through the abdomen wall.

The administration of a feeding tube does not depend on the amount of time you have the tube. One method of...
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