183. Busting the Myth of Enteral Feeding Intolerance: Tube Feeding Is Not the Problem

Monday, October 28
3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: 201-ABC
CE: 1.5
Level 3 – Advanced
Activity Code: 149559

Enteral nutrition (EN) is a safe and effective way to nourish those unable to meet their nutritional needs volitionally. However, many barriers exist in the hospitalized setting that thwart the delivery of prescribed EN, not the least of which are patient-specific barriers, often referred to as EN “intolerance or complications.” It is important that dietitians lead the way in dispelling the many myths surrounding the use of EN that result in the slowing or withholding of this vital therapy. The purpose of this session is to arm the dietitian with an understanding of gastrointestinal physiology within the context of EN delivery to better identify the root cause of patient-specific EN barriers, with the goal of avoiding EN stoppages for unsound reasons. Strategies will be provided to effectively assess and treat EN in a systematic fashion to improve overall EN delivery.

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize barriers to successful enteral feeding in the hospitalized patient.
  • Identify common myths surrounding EN “intolerance or complications” including diarrhea, constipation, gastric residual volumes, hyperosmolar formulas, and flow rates.
  • Develop a systematic approach to identify the root cause of EN “intolerance or complications” in order to improve enteral feeding delivery.

Learning Need Codes:

  • 5440 Enteral and parenteral nutrition support (nutritional care)
  • 5220 Gastrointestinal disorders (disease/disorder)
  • 1070 Leadership, critical and strategic thinking

Performance Indicator:

  • 4.1.1 Demonstrates effective problem solving and professional judgment to address a need.
  • 8.3.6 Keeps abreast of current nutrition and dietetics knowledge and trends.


  • Stacey McCray, RDN

    Program Coordinator / Dietetic Internship Coordinator

    University of Virginia Health System

  • Speaker(s)

  • Carol Rees Parrish, MS, RDN

    Nutrition Support Specialist

    University of Virginia Health System

  • Andy Copland, MD

    Assistant Professor of Medicine

    University of Virginia School of Medicine