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We should reconsider use of ready-made formulas for long-term tube feeding in children

Research on the diversity of gut microbiome raises questions about how we feed children who are not able to feed themselves

Having just retired after a 40-year career in nursing I’ve seen many changes, but one of the most significant developments is happening right now.

When I started out, tube feeding was much less common and when it was used, special feeds would arrive from the kitchen. As a young nurse I had no idea what was in them, and there was little concern about how they were stored.

Speaking to dietetic colleges now, it turns out they contained milk and raw egg. Not surprisingly patients often became ill with gastroenteritis. Fortunately for us, and our patients, feed companies began to develop sterile complete feeds, which certainly reduced the incidence of complications. The option to carry on feeding patients by tube at home became viable, and sterile


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