Enteral Feeding Pumps – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Elder Care Equipment and Technology Glossary

What is an enteral feeding pump?

An enteral feeding pump is a medical device used to deliver liquid nutrition directly into the gastrointestinal tract of a patient who is unable to consume food orally. This method of feeding is known as enteral nutrition and is often used for individuals who have difficulty swallowing, have a decreased appetite, or are unable to eat due to medical conditions. Enteral feeding pumps are designed to accurately deliver a specific amount of liquid nutrition at a controlled rate over a set period of time.

How does an enteral feeding pump work?

Enteral feeding pumps work by connecting a feeding tube to a bag or container of liquid nutrition. The pump is programmed to deliver the nutrition at a specific rate, typically measured in milliliters per hour. The pump can be set to deliver continuous feedings or intermittent feedings, depending on the patient’s needs. The feeding tube is inserted through the nose or mouth and into the stomach or small intestine, where the liquid nutrition is absorbed by the body.

Who can benefit from using an enteral feeding pump?

Enteral feeding pumps are commonly used for patients who are unable to eat or drink orally due to medical conditions such as stroke, cancer, or gastrointestinal disorders. They are also used for individuals who have difficulty swallowing or have a decreased appetite. Enteral feeding pumps can be used in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, and home care settings.

What are the different types of enteral feeding pumps available?

There are several different types of enteral feeding pumps available, including gravity-fed pumps, syringe pumps, and electric pumps. Gravity-fed pumps rely on gravity to deliver the liquid nutrition at a controlled rate, while syringe pumps use a syringe to push the nutrition through the feeding tube. Electric pumps are the most common type of enteral feeding pump and use a motorized mechanism to deliver the nutrition at a precise rate.

What are the key features to consider when choosing an enteral feeding pump?

When choosing an enteral feeding pump, it is important to consider several key features to ensure the pump meets the patient’s needs. Some important features to consider include the pump’s accuracy and reliability, ease of programming and use, portability and battery life, alarm systems for safety, and compatibility with different types of feeding tubes and containers. It is also important to consider the pump’s maintenance requirements and cost.

How to properly care for and maintain an enteral feeding pump?

Proper care and maintenance of an enteral feeding pump are essential to ensure its safe and effective use. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfecting the pump regularly to prevent contamination and infection. The feeding tube should also be flushed with water before and after each feeding to prevent clogs. It is important to check the pump’s tubing and connections for any signs of wear or damage and to replace them as needed. Regularly inspecting the pump’s battery and power source is also important to ensure the pump functions properly. Additionally, it is important to keep a record of the pump’s usage and any issues that arise to ensure proper monitoring and maintenance.