Multidisciplinary team involvement improves outcomes from gastrostomy placement

Reduced 30-day gastrostomy placement mortality following the introduction of a multidisciplinary nutrition support team: a cohort study

Hvas et al., JHND Early View unknown-2


Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy feeding allows patients with dysphagia to receive adequate nutritional support, although gastrostomy insertion is associated with mortality. A nutrition support team (NST) may improve a gastrostomy service. The present study aimed to evaluate the introduction of a NST for assessment and follow-up of patients referred for gastrostomy.


We included adult inpatients referred for gastrostomy insertion consecutively between 1 October 2010 and 31 March 2013. During the first 6 months, a multidisciplinary NST assessment service was implemented. Patient characteristics, clinical condition, referral appropriateness and follow-up were documented prospectively. We compared the frequencies of appropriate referrals, 30-day mortality and mental capacity/consent assessment time spent between the 6 months implementation phase and 2 years following establishment of the assessment service (‘established phase’).


In total, 309 patients were referred for gastrostomy insertion and 199 (64%) gastrostomies placed. The percentage of appropriate referrals rose from 72% (61/85) during the implementation phase to 87% (194/224) during the established phase (P = 0.002). Thirty-day mortality reduced from 10% (5/52) to 2% (3/147) (P = 0.01), whereas time allocated to assessment of mental capacity and attainment of informed consent rose from mean 3 days (limits of normal variation 0–7) to mean 6 (0–13) days.


The introduction of a NST to assess and select patients referred for gastrostomy placement was associated with a rise in the frequency of appropriate referrals and a decrease in 30-day mortality following gastrostomy insertion. Concomitantly, time spent on patient assessment and attainment of informed consent increased.

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