HMC promotes use of gastric tube for feeding children with cerebral palsy

April 17, 2014 2:10 pm

Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has highlighted the advantages of using gastric tubes to feed children with cerebral palsy, which have proven effective in providing the young patients with their nutritional needs.

Dr. Kamal Hassan, Senior Consultant in Pediatrics, Head of the Pediatric Gastroenterology Section said children with cerebral palsy often exhibit chewing and swallowing dysfunctions which can be dangerous to the patient’s health.

“Oral feeding might cause frequent suffocation due to leaking food out which leads to chronic malnutrition and growth failure; therefore doctors use gastric tubes for days or weeks or by making a gastrointestinal perforation for long term feeding, which is convenient especially for parents who are concerned about their child’s nutrition,” he explained.

“Gastric tubes and other nutritional equipment are used at HMC and there is a special clinic for gastric tube care every Monday morning and Thursday noon at the pediatrics outpatient department. We also have specialized and skilled nurses to help patients and their families with training and necessary education on using gastric tubes,” he added.

Young cerebral palsy patients are generally faced with two methods for feeding; one by injecting food into the stomach through a nasal or gastric tube which takes 10-20 minutes and does not require complicated equipment. The other method is done by employing a dedicated machine to pump milk directly into the patient.

Dr. Hassan also highlighted the importance of the gastric tube and its positive effects on the growth of children with neurological disabilities. Gastric tubes improve the quality of life of young patients as they reduce the likelihood of vomiting and chest infections and improve weight gain and health in general. Gastric tubes take less time and make feeding disabled children easy, and do not require invasive surgeries to be removed.

For more information, please contact:
Corporate Communications Department
Hamad Medical Corporation
Tel. No.: +974 4439 8919