Complications of Home Enteral Nutrition: Mechanical Complications and Access Issues in the Home Setting

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Home enteral nutrition (HEN) is an essential component in the care of patients with an array of underlying etiologies resulting in the inability to meet caloric needs through volitional intake alone. Although some would include oral nutrition supplementation as HEN, for the purposes of this review, the term is limited to a patient’s requiring an enteral access device for the delivery of exogenous nutrients. Complications related to such devices remain a difficult problem in the hospital setting, and these issues are often amplified when encountered in the home setting. Focused multidisciplinary teams and close follow-up are essential in optimizing outcomes for patients receiving HEN, but all healthcare providers should have foundational knowledge regarding commonly encountered complications of HEN access and the initial management of these issues.

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