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Artificial feeding improves quality of life say neuro-disability experts
Article Type: Food facts From: Nutrition & Food Science, Volume 40, Issue 3.
The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability (RHN), a medical charity based in Putney, London, welcomes the guidance issued by the Royal College of Physicians on artificial feeding. However, the RHN also recognises that Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrotomy (PEG) can be crucial to improving the quality of life for people living with long-term neuro-disability. Doing more to include patients in such decisions in the first place is just as high a priority as deciding when to resort to artificial feeding. Seventy-two per cent of patients and residents at the RHN have PEG feeding tubes in place for some or all of their nutrition and/or hydration needs as a range of difficulties, such as trouble swallowing, may make oral feeding burdensome or unsafe. However, the RHN does aim to facilitate oral feeding wherever possible.
“A PEG feeding tube can prove crucial to a patient's care and quality of life when it becomes no longer possible to eat or drink safely. Should that day come, we need to know they have been given every opportunity to make an informed decision about their care”.