G Tube feeding: getting across to caregiver importance of water

Specialties Gastroenterology


I know the answer here but need some way to get across to my patient's family member that water is just as essential as the formula for the patients G tube feeding. The family member says the water is not important...

Home Health Columnist / Guide


11 Articles; 18,140 Posts

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

Persons needing tube feedings require additional water to prevent dehydration. Additional water may be needed if diarrhea, sweating, fever, multiple decubitus/ open wounds are present. Conversely, those with heart failure may need less water replacement.

[h=3]How to Calculate Tube Feeding for Nursing -[/h]

[h=4]Home Enteral Nutrition[/h]

Fluid requirements must be determined, and then provided daily to the patient through the formula and other sources. Fluid needs are calculated for adults and children as follows:


• 35 ml/kg body weight/day


• 100 ml/kg/day for the first 10 kg body weight

• add 50 ml/kg/day for the second 10 kg of body weight

• For each additional kg of body weight add 20 ml/kg per day.

Most "standard" 1 kcal/ml enteral formulas contain about 80% water so a patient receiving 1500 kcals would receive 1200 ml of water from the formula. If the patient weighs 60 kg, he needs an additional 700 ml of water each day. It is important to account for other fluid losses from fever, diarrhea and vomiting, and to provide additional fluid replacement to meet these needs. Failure to account for fluid needs can lead to dehydration and rehospitalization.


389 Posts

Great information, thanks. I just wish showing someone the facts helped them to understand its importance, especially in the pediatric population.

ktwlpn, LPN

3,844 Posts

Specializes in LTC,Hospice/palliative care,acute care.

You my just need the physician to weigh in....


983 Posts

Suggest the family member only drink as much as they are willing to give the patient.

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