Elia, M., Stratton, R.J., Holden, C., Meadows, N., Micklewright, A., Russell, C., Scott, D., Thomas, A., Shaffer, J., Wheatley, C. and Woods, S.
Home enteral tube feeding following cerebrovascular accident
Clinical Nutrition, 20, (1), . (doi:10.1054/clnu.2000.0146).
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Background and aims: In the UK, cerebrovascular accident (CVA) is the third commonest cause of death and the commonest diagnosis in patients receiving home enteral feeding (HETF). This study aimed to use data from the British Artificial Nutrition Survey (BANS) collected between 1996 and 1999 to assess the outcome of patients on HETF, including mortality, return to oral feeding, level of physical activity, and level of dependency, which has resource implications.
Results: it is estimated that about 1.7% of all patients suffering a CVA in the UK between 1996 and 1999 received HETF. At one year, 29.6% died while receiving HETF and another 13% returned to oral feeding. Mortality increased with age and was twice as high in those managed in nursing homes compared to those in their own homes. The patients receiving tube feeding spent only 0.6% of their time in hospital. A total of 43.9% of patients were bed-bound at home (1.9% unconscious) and an additional 30.3% were house-bound. Only 21.2% were independent, and the majority were totally dependent on their carers. In CVA patients on HETF the level of dependency was greater than for those with all types of diagnoses (n=12,997).
Conclusion: This study has described the outcome of a large number of patients receiving HETF in the UK. Since patients spent less than 1% of their time in hospital, HETF relieves pressure on the expensive hospital environment, but places more demands on the carers, who have to deal with severely disabled patients. Recovery of swallowing function should be assessed intermittently to prevent unnecessary HETF.
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