There is no shortage of jargon to learn and understand when it comes to tube feeding. From types of feeds and equipment to different feeding methods, we’ve worked with healthcare experts and dietitians to develop this must-read glossary. Found a term you think is missing? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is tube feeding?
Tube feeding can be a safer way to provide nutrition if a child is unable to eat or drink orally, or if they need additional nutrition to help them maintain growth.
Click to read A Caregiver’s Guide to Tube Feeding for more information on understanding tube feeding and how to support children.
Click on the term you want to learn about to read more.
A dual approach to tube feeding, which alternates between formula and blended food. This may also be referred to as combination feeding.
A method of feeding where either a syringe or gravity is used to deliver feed over a short period of time, e.g. 5-15mins.
A small device which when closed prevents leakage from the feeding tube.
Feeding via a feeding pump for a set amount of time during a 24-hour period.
This describes a variety of symptoms that are caused by the gut not working properly and moving contents (e.g. food and drink) along the digestive system properly.
A thin and flexible tube with a camera that is passed through the mouth, and down towards the stomach (for investigation and tube placement).
Food/nutrition that is given directly into the stomach or small bowel (either orally or via a tube).
Plastic tubing which attaches the low profile button device to the feeding set.
A device that delivers feed through the tube at a rate recommended by your dietitian or healthcare professional.
A flexible tube that helps deliver the feed. It is attached to the bag/bottle containing formula at one end and the feeding tube at the other via a feeding pump, if in use.
The ability/inability to tolerate feed, whether its formula or blended. Signs of intolerance include vomiting, diarrhoea and bloating.
To give a volume of water (as directed by your dietitian) through the tube using a syringe before and after delivering a feed or medication. This helps to stop the tube from becoming blocked.
Anything related to the stomach.
An opening through the abdominal wall into the stomach.
Gastrostomy feeding device (G-tube)
A gastrostomy is an opening through the skin to the stomach. A feeding tube is put into this opening and feed is delivered directly into the stomach.
A form of bolus feeding, where feed enters the stomach by gravity (i.e. placing the feed above the height of the stomach).
Low Profile Device
These are often called a ‘button device’, as they rest on the skin surface and are held in place by an inflatable balloon.
Nasogastric tube (NG tube)
A narrow tube that is passed into the nose and down the oesophagus into the stomach, which allows liquid feed/medication to be delivered directly into the stomach.
Nasojejunal tube (NJ tube)
A tube that is passed through the nose and into the jejunum (the second part of the small intestine), so bypassing the stomach.
The path through which food and drink moves from the mouth to the stomach.
Anything related to the mouth.
A continuous feed that is typically given overnight via a pump.
A Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy tube (PEG) is a type of feeding tube, which is inserted through the skin of the abdomen into the stomach during an endoscopy.
Feeding that is given using a pump.
A surgical opening in the abdomen.
A medical device used to administer or remove fluid.
The ‘wind-pipe’ that carries air from the mouth to the lungs.
Tube feed/ formula
Formula is a type of liquid nutrition, which contains all the nutrients a child needs for growth and maintenance.
This helps deliver nutrition straight into a child’s stomach or small intestine.
Letting the air (wind) out of the stomach.
When the contents of the stomach are bought back up either into the oesophagus (the path through which food and drink moves from the mouth to the stomach) or mouth causing discomfort and nausea.
To cause food or liquid to move from your mouth into your stomach by using the muscles of your throat. Aspiration: When something enters your airway or lungs by accident such as food or liquid.
A medical procedure that videos the movement inside a part of the body by passing rays through the body over a period of time.
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