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Feeding in elderly patients with dysphagia or with an inadequate oral intake is usually considered vital, regardless of the consequences. In clinical practice, this is often achieved by insertion of a nasogastric (NG) tube early in the course of treatment. This study provided us local data about hypokalemia in patients discharged home on Nasogastric tube feeding.
To determine the frequency of hypokalemia in patients on nasogastric feeding with homemade blends and juices in non-hospitalized settings.
SUBJECTS AND METHOD:
The cross-sectional study was carried out in General medicine department of Khyber Teaching Hospital Peshawar from Jan 1, 2016, to Jun 30, 2016. There were total 176 Patients in our study. We enrolled Patients who had Oropharyngeal or esophageal dysphagia and were sent home on nasogastric tube feeding with homemade blends and juices. They were followed up after 2 weeks in Outpatient department and their blood samples were collected for checking their serum potassium levels. Samples were tested using K-lite 5 series electrolyte analyzer at Khyber teaching hospital laboratory for the presence of hypokalemia.
There were 98 males and 78 females in study population. The mean age was 58.15 years ± 13.35 SD. The mean value of Potassium was 4.07 mmol/L ± 0.8 SD. We found hypokalemia in 31 (17.6 %) of the patients sent on nasogastric feeding at home in our study sample.
Hypokalemia among patients with esophageal and oro-pharyngeal dysphagia who are on nasogastric tube feeding with homemade juices and liquefied blends for two weeks or more in non-clinical setting is a relatively common finding irrespective of age, gender or underlying disease. It is essential to recognize as it can be life-threatening.
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