Nutrients. 2023 Feb 25;15(5):1157. doi: 10.3390/nu15051157.
This study investigated whether enteral nutrition by early tube feeding led to changes in clinical parameters compared to tube feeding after 24 h. Starting on 1 January 2021, and following the latest update of the ESPEN guidelines on enteral nutrition, patients with percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) received tube feeding 4 h after tube insertion. An observational study was conducted to analyze whether the new scheme affected patient complaints, complications, or hospitalization duration compared to the previous procedure of tube feeding starting after 24 h. Clinical patient records from one year before and one year after the introduction of the new scheme were examined. A total of 98 patients were included, and of those 47 received tube feeding 24 h after tube insertion, and 51 received tube feeding 4 h after tube insertion. The new scheme did not influence the frequency or severity of patient complaints or complications related to tube feeding (all p-values > 0.05). However, the study showed that the length of stay in hospital was significantly shorter when following the new scheme (p = 0.030). In this observational cohort study an earlier start of tube feeding did not produce any negative consequences but did reduce the duration of hospitalization. Therefore, an early start, as suggested in the recent ESPEN guidelines, is supported and recommended.