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Enteral Pumps

A person who has had a gastrostomy (insertion of a feeding tube into the stomach) is fed nutrients via a feeding kit and an optional enteral pump. For someone who cannot chew, drink, or swallow, a feeding kit ensures a steady flow of nutrients to keep from starving. The bag contains a premixed formula that is nearly liquid and easily processed and absorbed by the patient's intestines.

Enteral Pumps

An enteral pump is an powered device that delivers the nutrients from a feeding bag directly into the stomach when gravity alone is insufficient or a higher feed rate is desired. The pumps can be set for both steady delivery of the nutrients as well as periodic water to flush out the tube.

Enteral pumps should have alarms to notify the caregiver when the food bag is empty or when the battery in the unit is low. An alarm that signifies when a dose (less than a complete bag) has been achieved is also helpful.

Feeding Kits

A food bag and delivery tube is hung on an IV pole to allow gravity to deliver the formula. The bags can be filled from the top using a canister of formula.

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