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Poor outcomes among gastrostomy-fed patients in the community

William H Watt, Kate A Needham, Peter L Talbot, Janet P Bell and Glen J Pang
Med J Aust 2009; 191 (5): 294.
Published online: 7 September 2009

To the Editor: The article by Calver and colleagues on the use of gastrostomy tubes in older Western Australians raises important issues regarding decision making for gastrostomy tube insertion and ongoing care of gastrostomy-fed patients. Calver et al report a high incidence of readmissions within 1 year for gastrostomy tube replacement or gastrostomy-related complication (25%) and a high 1-year mortality rate (54%)1 Extrapolation of New South Wales data suggests that about 11 000 Australians rely on gastrostomy feeding at home as their sole source of nutrition and hydration.2

  • William H Watt1
  • Kate A Needham1
  • Peter L Talbot2
  • Janet P Bell3
  • Glen J Pang1

  • 1 Greater Metropolitan Clinical Taskforce, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2 Sydney West Area Health Service, Sydney, NSW.
  • 3 Central Hospital Network, South Eastern Sydney Area Health Service, Sydney, NSW.


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