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How long can a person live with a feeding tube?

4 answers | Last updated: Jul 25, 2014
Puerto Rico asked...
How long can a person live with a feeding tube before reaching a critical state? What's the typical life expectancy with a feeding tube?
 

Answers
Caring.com User - Jennifer Serafin, N.P.
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Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.
44% helpful

To be honest, this really depends on the person and why the tube is being placed. If someone has a stroke and cannot swallow, they can often survive for many See also:
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years with a feeding tube.

People who get feeding tubes due to weight loss from dementia tend not to do well over time. Studies show that tube feedings in these patients do not really increase weight or reduce aspiration risk. Aspiration (swallowing secretions/ food into the lungs) can cause severe pneumonia, which are difficult to treat. Since these patients tend to be frail already, this type of pneumonia can often be overwhelming to their fragile system, especially if it happens often. Therefore, they can continue to decline despite having artificial nutrition.

Please speak to a health care provider you trust about making this decision. It really needs to be discussed, with the risks and the benefits clearly outlined for you.

 

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45% helpful
billybutt answered...

a person with HD can live with liquid and the feeding tube dispite the doctors orders of nothing by mouth. i fouund coffee inthe mornings is fine also giving him ice cream in the evenings plus the feeding by tube.

 

40% helpful
frank808 answered...

My father-in-law is 91 yrs. old and has had a P.E.G. tube for at least 15 years. The tube was placed due to difficulty swallowing after his second stroke.

 

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An anonymous caregiver answered...

Our daughter has a rare variation of Downs Syndrome and she has had a g tube for 20 years. She is as well as she has ever been. God is merciful.

 

 
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