Enteral access is a cornerstone in the provision of nutrition support. Early and adequate enteral support has consistently demonstrated improved patient outcomes throughout a wide range of illness. In patients unable to tolerate oral intake, multiple options of delivery are available to the clinician. Access requires a multidisciplinary effort that involves nurses, dietitians, and physicians to be successful. These techniques and procedures are not without morbidity and even mortality. A comprehensive understanding of the appropriate management of these tubes and their inherent complications should be garnered by all those involved with nutrition support teams. This tutorial reviews available options for enteral access in addition to commonly encountered complications and their management.
Keywords: adult; enteral access; life cycle; nutrition; nutrition support practice; nutrition support teams.