Feeding Tube Awareness Week 2023

Feeding Tube Awareness Week 2023

At Jessie McPherson Private we have many patients who may find they need a feeding tube for many reasons and for different lengths of time, whether accessing our gastroscience services or our obstetric services. We wanted to take this opportunity to provide further information about Tube Feeding. At the end of this article you can read how to access further resource on feeding tube awareness.

What is tube feeding?

Tube feeding is a way of getting nutrition into the body if a person is unable to eat or drink, or unable to eat or drink enough.

Tube feed is a liquid form of food that’s carried through the body through a flexible tube. The nutrients within the tube feed are similar to what a person would get from normal food, including carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals and water. Medicine can also be given through a feeding tube.

Tube feeding is also called enteral nutrition.


feeding tube awareness week 1


What are the reasons that tube feeding may be needed?

There are many different reasons for tube feeding use, and feeding tube therapy is used by all ages.

Common conditions that may lead to a feeding tube include:

  • Gastrointestinal dysfunction
  • Head and neck cancers that make swallowing difficult or require throat surgery
  • Gastrointestinal issues such as an obstructed bowel
  • Neurological disorders including stroke and paralysis
  • Cancer, which may cause fatigue, nausea, and vomiting that make it difficult to eat
  • Serious illness, which places the body in a state of stress, making it difficult to take in enough nutrients
  • Failure to thrive or inability to eat in young children or infants




What are the common types of feeding tubes?

There are different types of feeding tubes, healthcare professionals will recommend what type of tube is required based on need.

Type of feeding tube, including where the tube is inserted and when it’s used:

  • Nasogastric (NG) feeding tube
    • Inserted through the nose, down the oesophagus and into the stomach.
    • Usually for short-term tube feeding (6-8 weeks)
  • Nasojejunal (NJ) feeding tube
    • Inserted through the nose, down the oesophagus, through the stomach and into the small intestine (jejunum). Also called an NJ-tube or Transpyloric (TP)
    • When feeding into the stomach isn’t tolerated.
  • Gastrostomy tube
    • Inserted directly in to the stomach through a small incision in the abdomens skin. Sometimes called a G-Tube. These tubes include a PEG (percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy) and low profile device/button (balloon and non-balloon).
    • For long-term use (more than six weeks).
  • Jejunostomy tube
    • Inserted through the stomach and into the small intestine (jejunum, PEG-J) or directly into the small intestine (jejunum, JEJ) through a small incision in the abdomen skin.
    • For long-term use (more than six weeks).



Further resources on ausEE and Feeding Tube Awareness Week

In Australia Feeding Tube Awareness Week is ran by ausEE or Australians Living with an Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disease (EGID) including Eosinphilic Oesophagisit (EoE).

ausEE Inc. is Australia’s peak national support and patient advocacy organisation for eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases, just one condition, out of hundreds, that may require someone to have a feeding tube to meet their nutritional needs. ausEE CEO and Founder, Sarah Gray OAM says, ‘Feeding Tube Awareness Week is celebrated each year to bring everyone together who has a feeding tube, whatever the reason may be.’

For the first time, during FTAW, Australian and New Zealand landmarks are lighting up purple and blue to raise awareness about tube feeding. ausEE gives thanks to the facilitators of around 85 landmarks, buildings and bridges that are showing their support for people with feeding tubes by illuminating. ausEE is encouraging people to get involved during FTAW by visiting the participating landmarks on the light up nights and taking a photo to share on social media, using the hashtags #FTAW2023 and #TubieTuesday. A list of light up locations can be found here.



Feeding Tube Awareness Week also offers an opportunity for people with feeding tubes to unite and share their lived experience to increase community understanding. ausEE is sharing these insights through a collection of #MyTubie stories across social media and on their website at feedingtubeaware.com.au/raiseawareness/mytubiestories. People are invited to share their own #MyTubie story on their social media.

Find out more about FTAW including information about tube feeding, practical resources, and support networks for Australasians living with feeding tubes at feedingtubeaware.com.au.

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You can contact Jessie McPherson Private Hospital on 03 3534 2776 or send us a message below.

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