The Gerontologist, Vol 34, Issue 1 130-133, Copyright © 1994 by The Gerontological Society of America
Discontinuing feeding tubes in a community nursing home
B Leff, N Cheuvront and W Russell
Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Francis Scott Key Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland.
This study retrospectively reviews the experience of a 126-bed community
nursing home at weaning tube-fed residents. All patients admitted to
facility over a 6-year period who were tube fed were included in the review
(N = 15). All tube-fed residents had a sustained trial of oral feeding.
Tube feedings were discontinued if oral intake was sufficient. Fifteen
tube-fed patients were admitted over the period studied. Seven residents
were retrained to eat and were weaned from tube feeds. We conclude that
some residents admitted to our nursing home with feeding tubes can be
weaned from them. Prospective studies using a larger sample are needed to
better delineate the nature of the weaning process and to define the
clinical characteristics that predict the ability to wean.