Briefly describe enteral nutrition, at least four indications for its use, and four common locations for enteral feeding.

A

Enteral nutrition (EN) refers to the direct delivery of nutrients into the gastrointestinal tract via feeding tubes. EN feeding tubes are useful in administering boluses and medications and in gastric aspiration.

Indications

  • Poor oral intake, especially after gastrointestinal surgery
  • Swallowing disorders, such as dysphagia
  • Esophageal abnormalities and obstructions
  • Anorexia (critically ill patients)

Common Locations

  • Stomach, e.g., nasogastric tube feeding
  • Duodenum, e.g., nasoduodenal tube feeding
  • Jejunum, e.g., nasojejunal enteral tubes
  • Enterostomy, e.g., enterostomy tube feeding
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