Administration and Schedules

When it comes to deciding on the best tube feed routine for you or the person you care for, your dietitian will talk about options with you. There are three ways that the tube feed can be given:

Continuous feeding: The tube feed (e.g.1000ml or 1500ml) is given slowly over a number of hours, using a pump that controls how quickly it flows. Continuous feeding can take place during the day, overnight, or a combination of both.

Bolus feeding: The tube feeds are given in smaller volumes (e.g. 200ml) one at a time, several times throughout the day with the use of a pump, gravity, or a syringe.

Combination of both: A combination of these routines can be chosen based on a number of factors, for example, giving you or the one you care for more flexibility.

Always talk to your dietitian/doctor first before changing the feeding routine as they can help choose the optimal way of feeding for you or the one you care for.

The ideal position for tube feeding is to sit upright. But if this isn't feasible, prop yourself or the person you care for up on at least two pillows to lie at an angle of 45º or larger. Keep this position during tube feeding and for up to 30-60 minutes after, as it's not safe to feed while lying flat.

Your tube feeding plan

A tube feeding plan will give you a lot of insight into how it's going to work day to day. Your dietitian will give you all the information you need. A typical daily tube feed plan will include:

  • Name of tube feed
  • Pack size
  • Amount of tube feed and the tube feeding routine
  • Amount of sterile or cooled boiled water
  • Flow rate per hour set on the pump (how quickly the feed will be pumped into your tube)/volume and number of bolus feeds
  • Dose or volume on the pump/for bolus feeding
  • Number of water flushes
  • Type of giving set
  • Type and number of syringes.

This website should be used for information purposes only for UK patients and carers of patients who are tube feeding. This information provided does not replace the advice and supervision of a doctor, dietitian, or any other member of the healthcare team. It’s important to follow the advice given to you by your healthcare professional.