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Enteral Patient Center

Learn more about enteral feeding, view many of the resources available to patients using the Infinity Enteral Feeding Pump, and even connect with others.

About Enteral Feeding

Learn all about the basics of enteral feeding. More »

Articles & Insights

Stay up-to-date on the latest articles & insights. More »

Patient Stories

Hear real stories from real people in a series of videos. More »

Connect with Others

Learn about various online learning and enteral support groups. More »

What is enteral feeding?

Enteral feeding, also known as tube feeding, is a method for providing nutrition to people who cannot eat and drink enough nutrients on their own. Liquid food, often called formula, is given through a special tube to make sure you get the nutrition and fluids you need. Just like regular food, tube feeding formula provides all the essential nutrients your body needs, such as calories, protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. Your doctor may also prescribe medication to be delivered through the feeding tube.

People may need tube feeding for a number of reasons, such as when they are unable to get enough nutrition by eating and drinking by mouth, when they are unable to digest food normally, when swallowing is difficult or unsafe, or after surgery or medical treatments when it may be hard or impossible to eat for a period of time.

Learn more about how enteral feeding differs from other nutrition delivery methods, such as parenteral feeding, by reading “What is the Difference Between Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition?”.

Feeding tubes & pumps

There are several different types of feeding tubes used to give tube feeding formula, and there are several different places where these  tubes may be located in the body. Each of these places allows the nutrients in the formula to be absorbed by your body.

  • Nasogastric or “NG-Tube”: The feeding tube goes through the nose, down the esophagus or food tube, and ends in the stomach.
  • Nasojejunal or “NJ-Tube”: The feeding tube goes through the nose, down the esophagus or food tube, continues through the stomach, and ends in the small intestine.
  • Gastrostomy or “G-Tube”: The feeding tube goes through a small opening in the skin directly into the stomach.
  • Gastrojejunal or “GJ-Tube”: The feeding tube goes through a small opening in the skin directly into the stomach and has a second tube extending into the small intestine
  • Jejunostomy or “J-Tube”: The feeding tube goes through a small opening in the skin into the jejunum or small intestine.

A feeding pump, such as the Infinity Enteral Feeding Pump, is a device that controls the rate and amount of formula delivered to a patient. Formula flows from a feeding bag or pre-filled container through tubing that runs through the pump and then into your feeding tube. 

In addition to using a feeding pump, formula can also be delivered using a gravity feeding bag or syringe. 

Enteral formulas & foods

Tube fed diets typically consist of two main types of formula: enteral formula and blenderized foods.

  • Enteral formula: Typically enteral formula comes in 3 types: infant, pedatric, and adult. These formulas can either come in powder form (which you mix into liquid before feeding) or in a ready-made liquid form. These formulas contain the necessary nutrients to have a balanced diet.
  • Blenderized foods: Blenderized foods are a liquid diet that can consist of commercial product, or even a homemade blend. Blenderized foods are used by pediatric and adult patients (but not for infant use). Typically blenderized foods are delivered through G type tubes, not through naso tubes.

Additional information for enteral patients and caregivers

Understanding the ENFit Enteral Feeding Connector

Understanding the ENFit Enteral Feeding Connector

ENFit is a worldwide initiative to make all enteral feeding devices specific to tube feeding. All enteral feeding products with a connector will be changed to include the ENFit connector. This includes syringes, gravity sets, pump sets, extension sets, and even ...
What is the Difference Between Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition?

What is the Difference Between Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition?

All people need food and nutrition in order to survive. Sometimes, due to illness, surgery, or other reasons, individuals are unable to get the nutrition their bodies require. It then becomes necessary for these individuals to receive nutrition through alternative ...
Formula Left in the Tubing – Compensating for Residual Volume

Formula Left in the Tubing – Compensating for Residual Volume

When an enteral feeding is completed, a small amount of formula is may remain in the downstream tubing of the delivery set. This undelivered formula is often referred to as residual volume. Understanding why residual volume occurs, and how to compensate for it is ...

Patient resources, information, and foundations

Living with an enteral feeding pump can feel overwhelming at first. A growing number of online learning resources and support groups are available to help navigate these challenges. The list below provides links to many of these groups and sites. If you are aware of a group that should be added to our list, please let us know.

OLEY FOUNDATION

Enriching the lives of those requiring home IV and tube feeding

If you or someone you love requires home IV or tube feeding, Oley is your place to go to learn, find helpful resources and to connect with others who understand how to live with parenteral and enteral nutrition. Visit oley.org to learn more.

FEEDING TUBE AWARENESS

Providing information, resources and community for the families of children who are tube fed

The Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation is dedicated to supporting parents and caregivers of children who are tube fed by providing valuable resources and raising awareness of tube feeding in society. Visit feedingtubeawareness.org to learn more.

STAY CONNECTED

New connectors for enteral feeding tubes

New design standards for enteral feeding tube connectors are coming. The new connectors will improve patient safety and be adopted into practice universally around the globe. Learn about the change and how it will impact you. Visit stayconnected.org to learn more.

FEEDING MATTERS

Providing support, expertise, and hope for families facing the challenges of pediatric feeding disorders

Feeding Matters is the first organization in the world uniting families, healthcare professionals, and the broader community to improve the system of care for children with pediatric feeding disorder through advocacy, education, support, and research. Visit feedingmatters.org to learn more.

24x7 Clinical Support

Industry-leading clinical and customer support options right at your fingertips.

From 24 hour per day clinical support, to live stream training, self-paced e-Learning, and onsite education in your facility; our clinical and customer support teams offer the most comprehensive technical training and support in the industry. Call us at 1.800.970.2337 or click the button below for assistance. You can also find online support with our training videos, troubleshooting, FAQs, and download library.