Nasogastric tube feeding in line with new dietetic guidelines for the treatment of anorexia nervosa

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Falcoski et al., JHND Early Viewunknown-2

Background

The present study reports a case series where three adolescent patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) (two cases with typical AN and one case atypical AN) received nasogastric tube feeding under restraint in line with new dietetic clinical guidelines.

Methods

Three cases were chosen out of 61 admitted patients over the period of 1 year who were fed via a nasogastric tube under restraint in a specialist eating disorders unit for children and adolescents. These cases were chosen to highlight a range of clinical scenarios that clinicians may encounter. They also represent clinical scenarios where decisions to feed patients under restraint were rendered more complex by additional concerns.

Results

Despite the complexity of the cases, all patients tolerated the feeds well and were discharged home eating solid food.

Conclusions

The decision to feed a patient against their will is never an easy one. Sadly, there have been some recent high‐profile deaths of adult patients on medical wards where treatment opinion was not considered, and the patient received no or minimal nutrition when awaiting specialist treatment. Dietetic guidelines have been published to help inform clinicians for whom feeding under restraint may be out of the scope of their daily practice. This case series highlights clinical scenarios that illustrate the utility of the guidelines, which we hope will support clinicians when making, potentially lifesaving decisions in children and young people.

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