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Critical Care

Open Access

Clinical pharmacist intervention in reviewing prescriptions of drugs administered by an enteral feeding tube in adult and pediatric intensive care units

  • G Lima1,
  • SM Almeida1,
  • NMM Negrini1,
  • FT Ferracini1,
  • A Stape1 and
  • LR Ferraz1
Critical Care200711(Suppl 3):P86

Published: 19 June 2007


Intensive Care UnitEasy AccessMedical PrescriptionPediatric Intensive Care UnitEnteral Feeding


Administration of drugs by an enteral feeding tube is a common practice in critically ill patients, since it provides an easy access for those unable to swallow.

By monitoring the administration of drugs by an enteral feeding tube in the adult and pediatric ICUs, we have found several factors that could lead to an unsuccessful practice. Since most patients are given continuous enteral feeding, problems such as drug – nutrient interactions, tube obstruction, changes in drug bio-availability, and biological risk for the nursing team may occur.

In a survey conducted from April to June 2006 in the ICU, 83 pharmacist interventions relating to problems with drugs administered by feeding tube were found. Of these 83 interventions, 23 were associated with absorption problems, 44 with obstruction problems, 15 with drug – nutrient interactions, and one with a biological risk for the nursing team.


To implement a procedure to increase clinical pharmacist interventions for drug administration by feeding tube in order to avoid problems with this mode of administration.

Materials and methods

A patient follow-up form was prepared in June 2006. As of this date, all medical prescriptions containing drugs to be administered by feeding tube were reviewed. A new survey from July to September was carried out to assess the results of the new procedure.


After the implementation of the follow-up procedure, clinical pharmacist interventions were increased by 100%.


Complete follow-up of prescriptions containing drugs to be administered by feeding tube by the clinical pharmacist reduces the possible risks related to this practice.

Authors’ Affiliations

Albert Einstein Jewish Hospital, Brazil


© BioMed Central Ltd 2007