When a patient is very unwell and needs breathing support they are often unable to eat or drink. The body still needs food for energy. So food is given in liquid form through a feeding tube (nasogastric or gastric tube). The feeding tube is inserted through the nose or mouth. It travels down the swallowing pipe to the stomach.
Nutrition can also be given through the bloodstream. This is called “parenteral nutrition or TPN”.
This topic was reviewed by an intensive care medicine specialist in July 2022.