Why do people need feeding tubes?
People need feeding tubes for a variety of reasons. I’m going to focus on our experience.
LB had a feeding tube when she was born prematurely. It was an NG tube. She did not have the ability or energy to eat by mouth, so the tube allowed her to get nutrients without burning any calories or energy. She did not have it for very long.
LK had an OG tube when she was born prematurely. Her lungs were underdeveloped and she needed help from a bipap machine and oxygen to help her breathe. Due to this need, her feeding tube had to go through her mouth.
LU initially had an NG tube placed be ause she was failure to thrive. Ahe was also volume sensitive. So if we fed her a 2 ounce bottle, she was ok, but anything more than that and she vomited it all up. The NG allowed us to feed her over a longer period of time, so she didn’t get as full as fast.
Unfortunately for us, LU liked to yank her tube out of her nose. We had to reinsert it each time. We tried everything to keep her feom yanking it out, from gloves on her hands to arm braces called no-nos that should have worked, but she figured out how to take everything off and yank out the tube. She was fast!
This led to the decision to change to a gtube, which she still uses today. She can eat, drink, and vent all the time! She started putting on weight and thriving! And we have a way to administer medications.
People have feeding tubes for lots of reasons. Sometimes they only have them for a short while, but they can keep th long term or even permanently.
Every story is different! But everyone needs to eat