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When can they remove a feeding tube from someone in critical care?

Julia Vicente, MSN
Critical Care Nursing

The answer depends on the patient, their condition, why they needed it, what kind of tube it was, and do they still need it.

A feeding tube can be in the mouth (orogastric), in the nose (nasogastric) or through the skin outside the stomach (Percutaneous gastrostomy tube) or in the small intestine (jejunostomy). If the patient does not need the tube and can take nutrition normally then the tube can be removed. If the patient will not have a quick recovery he or she may need a PEG tube for long term feeding. Sometimes patients cannot tolerate tube feedings and might need intravenous nutrition (TPN, PPN); these patients need feeding tubes. Ultimately the answer depends on the patient wishes, and the need and reasons for the tube.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.