Table 2

Complications of enteral nutrition

Mechanical
    Unable to pass a tube
    Malposition (tube placement into the trachea, pneumothorax, intracranial placement)
    Unwanted removal
    Blockage
    Nasopharyngeal pain, erosions, sinusitis, otitis media
    Hoarseness, laryngeal ulceration
    Oesophageal erosions, oesophagitis, and strictures
    Tracheo-oesophageal fistula, variceal rupture
    Duodenal perforation
Gastrointestinal
    Diarrhoea or constipation
    Bloating
    Abdominal distension
    Reflux
    Nausea
    Cramps
    Regurgitation
    Pulmonary aspiration
    Drug interactions
Metabolic/biochemical
    Vitamin, mineral, trace element, essential fatty acid deficiencies
    Hyperglycaemia
    Hyperkalaemia
    Hypophosphataemia
    Hypomagnesaemia
    Hypozincaemia
    (most common)
Miscellaneous
    Abnormal liver function tests
    Pulmonary aspiration
    Feed contamination and resulting infection