British Journal of Nursing, Vol. 21, Iss. 18, 11 Oct 2012, pp 1061 - 1067
In the 1980s, enteral nutrition became increasingly recognised as a safe, effective and cost-efficient method of providing nutrition to patients with a functional gut (Silk, 2003). With this came the development of feeding-specific nasogastric (NG) tubes (Rees et al, 1986) and the formulation of nutritionally complete, ready-to-hang feeds (Keohane et al, 1983), as well as the creation of gastrostomy tubes for direct access to the stomach by Ponsky and Gauderer (1981) followed by jejunostomys 11 years later (Shike et al, 1991). Since then there have been many developments in every aspect of enteral feeding, with over 30 enteral feeds listed in the British National Formulary (BNF) (Joint Formulary Committee, 2012) and companies continually designing new tubes that are smaller or more comfortable and feeding pumps that are quieter and easier to use. This article discusses the developments in enteral feeding over the last 5 years to give the reader an update on current topics and issues in enteral feeding.