Farrell valve relieves bloating in gastrostomy patient

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Dysphagia and weight loss are experienced by up to 80% of patients with motor neuron disease (MND). Enteral tube feeding can benefit these patients but side effects including fullness, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation are frequent and can lead to non-compliance. Changes in feed formulation, regimens and the use of prokinetic medication can help symptoms. We describe a case where the use of gastric pressure relief bags during enteral feeding improved symptoms of bloating in a hospice inpatient with MND. Symptoms recurred when these were not used, which were only partially relieved by manual venting of the gastrostomy tube. We suggest that this simple, non-pharmacological approach to bloating may provide opportunities for symptom relief in the palliative care setting.

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