Table 1

Indications for enteral tube feeding

Indication for feedingExample
GI, gastrointestinal; CVA, cerebrovascular accident.
Hospital nutrition support teams and/or dietitians should be involved as early as possible in the assessment and instigation of enteral tube feeding.
Unconscious patientHead injury, ventilated patient
Swallowing disorderPost-CVA, multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease
Physiological anorexiaLiver disease (particularly with ascites)
Upper GI obstructionOesophageal stricture
Partial intestinal failurePostoperative ileus (see section 5.0), inflammatory bowel disease, short bowel syndrome
Increased nutritional requirementsCystic fibrosis, renal disease
Psychological problemsSevere depression or anorexia nervosa