Tube feeding and hemodialysis

  1. Trying to determine what ICU nurses are doing with tube feeds when dialysis occurs. Hold feeds or keep them running?
  2. Poll: Hold feeds or keep them running?

    • Hold.

      9.09% 1
    • Continue at same rate during dialysis treatment.

      90.91% 10
    11 Votes
  3. Visit Chisca profile page

    About Chisca

    Joined: Dec '07; Posts: 745; Likes: 1,171
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 28 year(s) of experience in critical care, dialysis

    8 Comments

  4. by   Chisca
    Postprandial hypotension is a drop in blood pressure after eating a meal. Stomach distension is the trigger as the body shunts blood to digest the food based on this signal. No distension and there isn't a signal. Bolus feeding would trigger the response but trickle feeding does not. If you do hold the feeds during dialysis the risk is a dramatic drop in blood sugar as you are depriving the patient of glucose as the dialysis machine is removing glucose. The glucose molecule is slightly bigger than a water molecule and during a 3-4 hour treatment I have seen sugars fall up to 200 points. If your patient has any liver issues and can't convert fat to glucose the fall in serum glucose levels will be more rapid. European and asian countries routinely feed patients while on dialysis while the US and Canada do not.
  5. by   Kallie3006
    What does the nephrologist have down in the orders?
  6. by   MunoRN
    Maybe I've been out of the loop, but I've never come across the practice of habitually putting tube feedings on hold during dialysis, we even let them eat meals PO during dialysis.
  7. by   Chisca
    Not specified in the standard orderset.
  8. by   ICUman
    Same thoughts here as Muno. I've had HD patients continue tube feeds or eat their meal on the tray while HD is running. Never heard any mention of contraindication for doing so.
  9. by   Chisca
    Thank you to KeepinitrealCCRN and MunoRN for voting, for the rest of the 311 slugs who viewed this question and didn't respond, why not?
  10. by   emmjayy
    This is an issue I've never really had to deal with, because a.) none of my HD patients have been on bolus tube feeds, it's always been continuous and b.) they're all so unstable that they're on levophed during HD anyway.
  11. by   Shanimal
    I've never heard of any blanket protocol that recommends holding tube feedings during dialysis in ICU settings (and I'm here in the US), nor can I identify generalized recommendations for such in the literature. An exception for this would be if the patient has a femoral dialysis catheter access that requires patient positioning to be more supine, but the rationale for this is related to aspiration and not postprandial hypotension. Postprandial hypotension is a more patient-specific concern, and I see no reason for universal application to all patients. If we did this for every potential thing that could go wrong in patient care, we wouldn't be performing any healthcare interventions at all. This underscores the importance of bedside nurses that are competent and vigilant with strong assessment skills.

    You mention routine feeding of patients during dialysis is common Europe and Asia, but not in Canada and the US. Where are you finding this information?
    Last edit by Shanimal on Oct 14

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