The use of artificial feeding in patients with dysphagia by Anna Claudia Romeo, Professor of Clinical Pathology in the Degree Course in Midwifery at UniCamillus

La nutrizione artificiale (NA) è una procedura terapeutica destinata a persone nelle quali l’alimentazione orale o non è praticabile e/o non è sufficiente a soddisfare i fabbisogni calorico – proteici o è controindicata.

Artificial feeding (AF) is a therapeutic procedure intended for people in whom oral feeding is not practicable and / or is not sufficient to meet caloric – protein needs or is contraindicated.

Artificial feeding is an essential therapeutic tool, sometimes life-saving, as it allows to maintain or integrate the nutritional state in fragile patients (elderly, premature infants) or in the course of various pathological conditions (neurodegenerative, oncological, cerebrovascular, gastroenterological diseases, neuromuscular trauma, sepsis, major surgery) in which it is necessary, temporarily or definitively, to ensure adequate water and nutritional supplies to avoid risks of malnutrition.

Patients presenting with dysphagia, that is difficulty in one or more stages of deglutition, can benefit from artificial feeding when other dietary interventions (modified diets, compensatory procedures) aimed at facilitating oral food intake have not been adequate and / or safe.

In particular, artificial feeding differs in parenteral nutrition (PN) and enteral nutrition (EN).
With EN, the nutrients are administered directly into the digestive tract through the use of special probes which carry special nutritional mixtures directly into the stomach or intestines (nasogastric, nasoduodenal, nasal-jejunal, gastro/jejunostomy feeding tube).
With PN, nutrients are administered directly into the bloodstream, through the use of needles or venous catheters on large-caliber peripheral vessels or central vessels.
Artificial feeding can also be performed at home (HAN, home artificial nutrition) if the patient’s clinical and socio-family conditions guarantee its safety and efficacy outside the hospital.

Anna Claudia Romeo is Professor of Clinical Pathology in the Degree Course in Midwifery and teaches Nutrition in patients with dysphagia in the Online Master in Deglutology and Related Disorders at UniCamillus.

The first level Online Master aims to train professionals in the field of dysphagia through a transversal and interdisciplinary educational offer.
The lessons are delivered in e-learning mode with the possibility of accessing the platform h24 and using, at any time, all the teaching material made available by the teaching staff.

For more information about the Master click HERE