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PEG tubes in the elderly

CPD Hours



Aged care
Clinical practice and procedures
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Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) is a feeding tube placed through the abdominal wall to the stomach, via an endoscopic procedure. This module provides a brief explanation of the surgical procedure for insertion of a PEG tube and indications for use. It goes on to discuss the complications, nursing interventions when complications do arise and the nursing care required of an elderly person with a PEG tube.

There are some complex medical and ethical issues associated with the use of PEG tubes. Ethical questions are often asked in their use in the elderly patient with dementia where the individual is not in a position to consent to the insertion. Whilst providing an introduction to the care of a PEG tube in an elderly patient, the module is not intended to provide detailed practice guidelines on the nursing management of a PEG tube.

This module provides an overview of the ethical issues involved in the use of PEG tubes in the elderly.

Learning Objective

At the end of this module participants will be able to:

  • Explain the surgical procedure for inserting a PEG tube.
  • Understand the indications for PEG tubes in the elderly.
  • Identify the main complications associated with PEG tube feeds in the elderly.
  • Know the appropriate nursing interventions for the main complications associated with PEG tube feeds in the elderly.
  • Discuss the main ethical issues associated with PEG tubes in the elderly.

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