You will receive infusions (parenteral infusion) containing the nutrients you normally receive from food via thin plastic tubes through the skin into the bloodstream (PVK, CVK, subcutaneous venous port).
Gastric feeding tube
Another option is to supply gavage via a gastric feeding tube inserted through the nose/mouth down into the stomach. Gavage is supplied constantly and dosed by means of an enteral feed pump, or alternatively the probe is supplied at fixed times with an enteral syringe.
A decision concerning the quantity and content of food supplied will be based upon on how ill you are and how able you are to digest nutrients via the gastrointestinal tract. The body’s metabolism is affected when one is seriously ill.
You lose muscle mass due to digestion of proteins. Your requirement for protein, calories, vitamins, trace elements and electrolytes is supplied by the gavage you receive or by additives in infusions.
The gastric feeding tube can also be connected to a collection bag in order to drain the stomach of gastric contents. Diarrhoea may be the result of changes to gut flora during treatment with antibiotics or following the commencement of tube feeding. Constipation may occur due to reduced bowel function when immobilized and the administration of certain medicines that alter the movement of the intestines.
When you do not eat and drink normally but instead are fitted with tubes via your mouth, there is a risk of injuries/diseases of the mouth. The staff carry out oral care several times a day to prevent bacterial contamination and damage to the mucus membrane.