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Lesson 24. Nutritional Needs


a. A patient who is unconscious is normally fed and medicated by gavage.

(1) Always observe the patient carefully when administering anything by gavage.
(2) Do not leave the patient unattended while gavage feeding.
(3) Keep accurate records of all intake. (Feeding formula, water, liquid medications.)
(4) When gavage feeding an unconscious patient, it is best to place the patient in a sitting position (Fowler's or semi-Fowlers) and support with pillows.
(a) This permits gravity to help move the feeding or medication.
(b) The chance of aspiration of feeding into the airway is reduced.

b. Fluids are maintained by IV therapy.

(1) Keep accurate records of IV intake and urine output.
(2) Observe the patient for signs of dehydration or fluid overload.

David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: June 06, 2015