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Five year old girl with a gastric feeding tube, also known as a 'G-tube', receiving a liquidised food supplement. At left is a feeding pump that regulates the flow of food into the stomach. Food supplements are given when a patient is unable to eat enough to ensure nutrition, normally because of an inability to absorb food efficiently. In this case, the girl had combined liver and small intestine failure at one year old and still has internal scarring. The food supplement contains protein (caseinates), carbohydrates (maltodextrin), fats, vitamins, minerals and trace elements, and delivers one kilocalorie of energy per millilitre of fluid. This child is fed twice daily and overnight. Gastric tubes are fitted with an endoscope and a small incision in the abdomen, and last for about six months before renewal.
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