Being able to receive proper nutrition is critically important to all of us. For those with feeding tubes, this can be even more crucial since they can’t get their nutrition through the normal act of eating. The use of a feeding tube (a.k.a. enteral feeding or enteral nutrition) may be the only option for the introduction of nutrition. Administering liquid nutrition through a feeding tube can be done in several ways, but the most common is bolus feeding. Let me give you some insight into what bolus feeding is and how to do it safely.
I’m sure you’ve heard the term “feeding tube,” but do you really understand what this medical device requires? What is a bolus, and what does it do? Certain medical issues can require the insertion of a feeding tube to introduce nutrition safely. These can include:
The feeding tube inserted introduces a liquid with needed nutritional content directly into the stomach, bypassing any medical condition that makes standard eating impossible. The flexible tube is inserted through the nose or belly, providing needed nutrients. By connecting a syringe filled with formula/liquid supplement to the feeding tube and slowly introducing this nutritional liquid into the feeding tube, patients can receive the nutrition they require. A bolus feeding schedule should be established to introduce vital nutrition regularly.
So, what exactly does bolus feeding mean, and how is it achieved? In order to deliver liquid nutrition into a feeding tube, bolus feeding accomplishes this by attaching a syringe full of nutritional liquid and slowly introducing it into the feeding tube. You will need:
If you should be utilizing homemade, blended food, be absolutely sure that it is exceptionally smooth and viscous so that the feeding tube doesn’t clog. The best way to achieve this is with a high-quality blender. The steps you need to take for bolus feeding are:
If done properly, there should be minimal or no issues. Since bolus feedings can be new or even scary to some, work with a registered dietitian or your doctor/physician if you have questions. You should call your doctor if you experience:
Delivering necessary nutrition via a feeding tube can seem scary. By utilizing bolus feeding, this process can be achieved in a safe manner. Working with your doctor, nutritionist, or nurse can help you become familiar with this procedure so you can give your loved one or patient the proper nutrition they need.
HPFY has been online since 2002. We carry a wide range of medical supplies, including enteral feeding products, to help you take care of your loved ones. Explore our catalog today to find all that you need.
Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.
Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.
In 2006, ...
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