Follow Up After PEG Tube Insertion

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Follow Up After PEG Tube Insertion

The Ulster Medical Society
  • Letters To The Editor


16 Letters.indd © The Ulster Medical Society, 2007. Letters Ulster Med J 2007; 76 (3) 171-174 Follow up aFter peG tube insertion. Editor, Having a feeding tube in situ made me have more than an academic interest in the article Who Follows Up Patients After Peg Tube Insertion?1. Because of complete oesophageal blockage my gastrostomy was performed at laparotomy. However to all intents and purposes the insert is a PEG tube. Before discharge from the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, my daughter and I were well trained in the use and care of the tube and how to get help in an emergency. A dietician and a specialist nutrition nurse advised on amounts of liquid feed to use and as to the necessity for flushing the tube frequently. My General Practitioner was informed of the date of my discharge as were the District Nursing Service, the Community Dietician and the Occupational Therapists so all necessary equipment was waiting for me at home. A District Nurse visited my daughter before my discharge and met me at her home on the day of discharge to ensure that necessary equipment had been delivered and we were fully trained in the care of the tube. During my second night at home the alarm on the feeding pump activated and feeding stopped. Next morning a District Nurse confirmed that the tube was still in the stomach and that the balloon was intact. No cause for alarm was found. It was comforting to know that expert help was available as and when required. The Article states ‘Ideally all patients should have community follow-up by a dietician, speech and language therapist, and an appropriately trained professional who can deal with problems and advise accordingly’1. In the area covered by the former Ulster Community & Hospitals Trust the District Nurses are performing that duty admirably. I cannot speak too highly of my treatment in hospital and since my discharge. Herbert Gallagher*, Retired Surgeon 80 Belfast Road, Comber, BT23 5QP

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