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Abbott Nutrition Ireland

Frequently Asked Questions

This section of the website contains answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) received by Abbott Nutrition. If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact Abbott Nutrition on 1800 411 411 or by email, abbott_nutrition_irl@abbott.com.

Sip Feeds

Which product best suits your patient?
Can sip feeds be used to replace regular meals?

Sip feeds should complement, not replace a patient’s regular meals. It is important that patients continue to eat normal meals and snacks as well as taking the number of sip feeds prescribed by their healthcare professional.

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How should sip feeds be taken?

Sip feeds can be taken directly from the bottle using the straw attached or can be poured into a glass. Sip feeds are usually best served chilled and they can also be frozen and served as a dessert. If a warm drink is preferred, sip feeds such as Ensure® TwoCal can be gently heated in a saucepan. However, never boil sip feeds as this may affect the nutritional content.

Ensure® TwoCal can be incorporated into a wide variety of foods and drinks. The nutritional value of normal meals can be increased by adding Ensure® TwoCal to everyday recipes such as soup, sauces, smoothies, dinner and desserts.

Click here for recipes, which will help to prepare refreshing and nourishing drinks and meals using sip feeds such as Ensure® TwoCal.

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When should sip feeds be taken?

It is recommended that sip feeds are taken as a nourishing snack between meals. Taking sip feeds between meals or as a snack allows patients to eat as much as possible at mealtimes. It is important to remember that these drinks are usually added to the diet and are not intended to replace normal food intake.

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How many sip feeds are required each day?

Since individual requirements may differ, it is important that patients follow the advice given by their prescribing healthcare professional.

 

2 bottles of Ensure® TwoCal contain the same nutrition as:

*RDA = Recomended Dietary Allowance

**Fructooligosaccharides

^Of daily level of FOS shown to provide therapeutic benefit

The above was calculated based on figures for a 60kg female aged over 65 years

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Where can sip feeds be purchased?

Sip feeds such as Ensure® TwoCal are available from local pharmacies. They may be prescribed by GPs or recommended by Dietitians and are covered by the medical card; general medical services (GMS), long term illness (LTI) and drugs payment scheme (DPS).

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How should sip feeds be stored?
  • Sip feeds such as Ensure® TwoCal must be stored unopened in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  • Once opened, sip feeds will last for up to 24 hours in a refrigerator.
  • Discard any unused sip feeds after 24 hours to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination.
  • The bottles can be recycled with household recyclable material.
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What should I do if my patient does not want to take sip feeds anymore?

If it is because your patient does not like the taste or texture of the sip feed, an extensive range of flavours, styles and textures are available from Abbott Nutrition that they can try. People who do not like the taste of milk often prefer the juice style drinks. People who do not like sweet drinks may enjoy the savoury style drinks.

Visit our Recipes section for tasty ideas on how to include sip feeds in cooking.

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Who should I contact if I have any further questions?

If you have any questions about your patients sip feeds, it is always best to speak to your patients doctor, dietitian or nurse first. You can also call the Abbott Nutrition Dietetic Helpline on 1800 411 411.

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Can I heat my sip feed in the microwave?

Abbott Nutrition strongly advises against heating sip feeds in a microwave, as heat may not be evenly dispersed and this can result in the formation of hotspots.

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For Abbott products that are not GMS reimbursed, how do I obtain the product for the patient?

Reimbursement can be granted on an individual basis if the patient fulfils certain medical criteria. For further details on how to apply, please contact the Abbott Nutrition Dietetic Helpline on 1800 411 411.

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Paediatric Feeds

Who can benefit from paediatric sip feeds?

Children with:

  • Disease-related malnutrition
  • Impaired bowel function
  • Faltering growth
  • Short bowel syndrome
  • Bowel fistulae
  • Intractable malabsorption
  • Pre-operative and post-operative
  • Poor appetite
  • Fat intolerance
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What is PaediaSure® Plus?

The PaediaSure® Plus range of products provides complete and balanced nutrition including energy, protein, vitamins and minerals needed for normal growth and development.

2 packs of PaediaSure® Plus contain the same nutrition as:

Calories 600 calories As 5 glasses of milk
Essential to carry out day to day activities
milk
Protein 16.8g As 3 boiled eggs
Essential for growth and repair of body tissue
Iron 67% RDA As 8oz beef steak
Necessary to prevent anaemia
meat
Calcium 42% RDA As 2 pots of yoghurt
Essential for healthy bones and teeth
yogurt
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When should a child take sip feeds?

It is recommended that a child takes sip feeds such as PaediaSure® Plus as a nourishing snack between meals. Taking sip feeds between meals or as a snack allows a child to eat as much as possible at mealtimes. It is important to remember that these sip feeds are usually added to the diet and are not intended to replace a child's normal food intake.

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How should children take sip feeds?

Sip feeds such as PaediaSure® Plus can be sipped directly from the bottle using the straw attached or can be poured into a glass. Sip feeds are usually best served chilled and they can also be frozen and served as a dessert. If something warmer is preferred, PaediaSure® Plus can be gently heated in a saucepan. However, never boil sip feeds as this may affect the nutritional content.

PaediaSure® Plus can be incorporated into a wide variety of foods and drinks. The nutritional value of a child’s normal diet can be increased by adding PaediaSure® Plus to everyday recipes such as soup, sauces, smoothies, dinner and desserts.

Click here for refreshing and nourishing recipes using sip feeds such as PaediaSure® Plus.

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How many sip feeds does a child need each day?

Since individual requirements may differ, it is important that patients follow the advice of their prescribing healthcare professional.

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Where can sip feeds be purchased?

Sip feeds and tube feeds such as PaediaSure® Plus are available from local pharmacies. They may be prescribed by a doctor and are covered by the medical card; general medical services (GMS), long term illness (LTI) and drug payment scheme (DPS).

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How should PaediaSure® Plus be stored?
  • Sip feeds and tube feeds such as PaediaSure® Plus must be stored unopened in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight
  • Once opened, sip feeds and tube feeds will last for up to 24 hours in a refrigerator
  • Discard any unused sip feed or tube feed after 24 hours to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination
  • Any sip feed that has been decanted into a plastic container, also known as a Flexitainer® should be discarded after 8 hours to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination
  • If tube feeds have been stored in a refrigerator (opened or unopened), allow the feed to reach room temperature before use for improved tolerance.
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Who should I contact if I have any further questions?

If you have any questions about your patients sip feeds, it is always best to speak to your patients doctor, dietitian or nurse first. You can also call the Abbott Nutrition Dietetic Helpline on 1800 411 411.

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Tube Feeds

How should tube feeds be stored?
  • Feeds must be stored unopened in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight
  • Once opened, the feed will last for up to 24 hours in a refrigerator
  • Discard any unused feed after 24 hours to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination
  • Any feed that has been decanted into a plastic container, also known as a Flexitainer® should be discarded after 8 hours to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination
  • If the feed has been stored in a refrigerator (opened or unopened), allow the feed to reach room temperature before use for improved tolerance.
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Directions for use
Can additions be made to Abbott Nutrition feeds?

Patients should not make any additions to the feed without consulting their
pharmacist or dietitian.

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Similac

How can I find out about Similac® infant formula?

Information about Similac infant formulas can be found on the website www.similac.co.uk. You can also contact the UK Similac Team who are available 24 hours a day on 00 44 1628 644314. Choose option 4 to speak with the Similac Team. 

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Cooking with Abbott Nutrition Feeds

Instructions for heating sip feeds
  1. Shake the pack well before use
  2. Empty the contents of the pack into a saucepan. Stir regularly during heating to ensure the sip feed heats through evenly. Do not allow the feed to boil as this may alter the taste and destroy the heat sensitive nutrients
  3. Any product not consumed within two hours should be discarded to prevent bacterial contamination.
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Instructions for heating powdered sip feeds
  1. Make up the shake drink as per the instructions provided on the product label
  2. Pour the reconstituted drink into a saucepan. Stir regularly during heating to ensure the drink heats through evenly. Do not allow the drink to boil as this may alter the taste and destroy the heat sensitive nutrients
  3. Any product not consumed within two hours should be discarded to prevent bacterial contamination.
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Can Abbott Nutrition sip feeds be used in cooking or with other foods?

Yes. Some people may prefer to incorporate sip feeds into other foods and drinks, for a welcomed change to sipping them. Adult and paediatric sip feeds provided by Abbott Nutrition can be used to enhance the nutritional value of a normal diet including drinks, snacks, savouries and desserts. Visit our Recipes section for tasty ideas.

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Can sip feeds be thickened?

Yes. For guidance on thickening Abbott Nutritional sip feeds, please follow the advice of your Speech and Language Therapist or local guidelines.

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Can Enshake® be used to fortify (enrich) foods?

Enshake® powder can be added to food to increase the nutritional content. The powder can be mixed into foods such as: milkshakes, savouries and desserts. Please refer to the recipe section for additional tasty ideas.

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Can Abbott Nutrition sip feeds be frozen?

Yes. To consume sip feeds frozen, we would recommend that the feed is poured into a clean, freezer safe container and then frozen. The frozen feed can then be eaten with a teaspoon. Once thawed the feed should not be refrozen.

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Special Dietary Requirements, Allergies and Intolerances

Are Abbott Nutrition feeds milk protein free?

No. Please contact our Abbott Nutrition Dietetic Helpline on 1800 411 411 if you
require further advice.

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Are Abbott Nutrition feeds nut and nut oil free?

Most of the Abbott Nutrition product range is nut and nut oil free. However, as
changes can occur in manufacturing processes, please contact the Abbott
Nutrition Dietetic Helpline on 1800 411 411 for up-to-date information regarding
“Free-From” status of all Abbott Nutrition products.

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Are Abbott Nutrition feeds suitable for vegans?

Abbott Nutrition feeds are not suitable for people following a vegan diet, because they contain milk protein. Please contact our Abbott Nutrition Dietetic Helpline on 1800 411 411 if you require further advice.

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Are Abbott Nutrition feeds suitable for vegetarians?

Most of the Abbott Nutrition range is suitable for vegetarians. However, as
changes can occur in manufacturing processes, please contact the Abbott
Nutrition Dietetic Helpline on 1800 411 411 for up-to-date information regarding
the “Free-From” status of all Abbott Nutrition products.

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Are Abbott Nutrition feeds gluten free?

The Abbott Nutrition product range is gluten free, and is suitable for people with
Coeliac disease or those who have a gluten intolerance.

However, as changes can occur in manufacturing processes, please contact the
Abbott Nutrition Dietetic Helpline on 1800 411 411 for up-to-date information regarding
the “Free-From” status of all Abbott Nutrition products.

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Are Abbott Nutrition feeds Halal certified?

Most of the Abbott Nutrition product range is Halal certified. Please contact our
Abbott Nutrition Dietetic Helpline on 1800 411 411 for an up-to-date list of Halal
certified products.

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Are Abbott Nutrition Feeds Kosher Certified?

Most of the Abbott Nutrition product range is Kosher certified. Please contact our
Abbott Nutrition Dietetic Helpline on 1800 411 411 for an up-to-date list of Kosher
certified products.

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Are Abbott Nutrition sip feeds suitable for patients with diabetes?

Abbott Nutrition have a sip feed, Glucerna SR®, and a tube feed, Glucerna®, which have been designed specifically to meet the nutritional needs of people with diabetes.
However, all Abbott Nutrition sip feeds are suitable for people with diabetes provided that routine glucose checks are performed.

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Are Abbott Nutrition feeds lactose free?

Most of the Abbott Nutrition product range is clinically lactose free. Please contact our
Dietetic Helpline on 1800 411 411 for an up-to-date list of lactose free products.

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Do Abbott Nutrition feeds contain any genetically modified soy protein?

No. The soya (soy) protein used in Abbott Nutrition feeds sold in Ireland is not genetically modified.

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Can electrolytes be added to tube feeds?

No. Electrolytes such as sodium and potassium should not be added to tube feeds as this will affect the stability, osmolality and viscosity of the feed.

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Are Abbott Nutrition sip feeds suitable for children?

Abbott Nutrition provides a comprehensive range of sip feeds and tube feeds called PaediaSure®, PaediaSure® Plus, PaediaSure® Fibre, PaediaSure® Plus Fibre, Paediasure® Plus Juce and PaediaSure® Peptide that are specifically designed for children aged 1-10 years. Similac High Energy® is designed for infants and children from birth to 8kg (or 18 months of age) with faltering growth.

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Feeding Pumps

How does Abbott Nutrition supply FreeGo® feeding pumps to patients at home?
  1. The patient's healthcare professional will order the patient's FreeGo® feeding pump from Abbott Nutrition
  2. Abbott Nutrition will despatch the FreeGo® pump
  3. The Health Product Regulatory Authority (previously known as the IMB) require that the location of each feeding pump is recorded. Please contact Abbott Nutrition Hospital to Home on 1800 22 11 66 or 01 469 1549 if the location of a feeding pump changes.
  4. Please contact Abbott Nutrition Hospital to Home on 1800 22 11 66 or 01 469 1549 if the feeding pump is no longer required.
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How are Abbott Nutrition FreeGo feeding pumps supplied to hospitals?

Generally, a hospital will have a stock of FreeGo® feeding pumps that are supplied by Abbott Nutrition. The number of FreeGo® pumps will depend on the size of the hospital and the number of patients that require enteral feeding. Please contact Hospital to Home on 1800 22 11 66 or 01 469 1549, or an Abbott representative if your hospital would like to order a FreeGo® pump.

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Will Abbott Nutrition supply my patient with a backpack for their feeding pump?

Abbott Nutrition provide backpacks which can be used with the FreeGo® feeding pump. This allows the patient to continue feeding even when out and about or whilst travelling. Please contact the Abbott Nutrition Hospital to Home team on 1800 22 11 66 or 01 469 1549 for more information.

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How often should feeding pumps be cleaned?

FreeGo® feeding pumps should be cleaned carefully and thoroughly every day. The FreeGo® pump should be wiped with a soft damp cloth and warm water. The FreeGo® pump is water resistant and can be rinsed under running water. Ensure the pump is not immersed in water. The FreeGo® pump should be dried thoroughly after cleaning.

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What should I do if my patient’s FreeGo feeding pump alarms and indicates a blockage?

If your feeding tube is blocked or broken, contact your GP or public health nurse as soon as possible.

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What should I do if my patient’s FreeGo® feeding pump is not working properly?

If your patients feeding pump is not working properly, follow the “trouble shooting” advice on the side of the FreeGo® feeding pump or alternatively refer to the pump instruction manual. If the feeding pump is still not working properly, contact the Hospital to Home team on 1800 22 11 66 or 01 469 1549. The Hospital to Home coordinators will take you through a checklist to see if the problem can be easily solved.

In an emergency, if the FreeGo® feeding pump needs to be replaced we can arrange a replacement pump to be delivered, including weekends and bank holidays. In all other cases, faulty feeding pumps can be replaced within one working day.

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How can patients arrange to take their pump, feed and feeding equipment with them when going on holiday?

If you are going on holiday, Abbott's Hospital to Home service can advise you about
the various options available to support you while tube feeding away from home. In
some cases, Abbott can help transport your feed to many popular holiday
destinations. For short trips (less than one week duration) or some destinations (e.g.
USA), it may be advisable to bring your feed and equipment with you on the flight,
due to customs regulations or possible delays.


For advice and support, please contact the Hospital to Home service at least four to
six weeks in advance of your departure, to ensure sufficient time to make any
arrangements necessary. Call 1800 22 11 66 or email h2h@abbott.com.

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Feed, Giving Sets & Plastics

How are feeds dispensed?

Feeds are dispensed by your local pharmacy against a prescription written by a doctor or other prescribing healthcare professional.   

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Which Abbott Nutrition products are GMS approved?

The following Abbott Nutrition products are GMS approved:

Adult Nutritional Drinks

  • Ensure® Plus Advance
  • Ensure® TwoCal
  • Ensure® Plus
  • Ensure® Plus Yoghurt
  • Ensure® Plus Savoury
  • Ensure® Compact
  • Ensure® Plus Juce
  • Ensure® Plus Fibre
  • Ensure® Plus Crème
  • Enshake®

Specialised Nutritional Drinks

  • Nepro HP®
  • Ensure Plus HP®
  • Glucerna SR®
  • ProSure®

 Tube Feeds

  • Jevity®
  • Jevity® Plus
  • Jevity® 1.5kcal
  • Jevity® Plus HP
  • Jevity® Promote
  • Osmolite®
  • Osmolite® Plus
  • Osmolite® 1.5kcal
  • Osmolite® HP
  • TwoCal®

Semi-Elemental Tube Feeds

  • Perative®
  • Vital 1.5kcal®

Specialised Tube Feeds

  • Glucerna®
  • Nepro HP®
  • Pulmocare®

Infant and Paediatric Feeds

  • Similac High Energy®
  • Similac Alimentum®
  • PaediaSure®
  • PaediaSure® Plus
  • PaediaSure® Fibre
  • PaediaSure® Plus Fibre
  • PaediaSure® Juce
  • PaediaSure® Peptide
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How often should a patient change their giving set or flexitainer®?

All Abbott Nutrition giving sets and Flexitainers® show the following “single use” symbol

Single use means that giving set and/or Flexitainers® can be used intermittently over a 24 hour period as long as the giving set is not separated from the bottle of feed or Flexitainer®. After 24 hours, the giving set and Flexitainer® should be discarded to prevent bacterial contamination.

Please contact your patients healthcare professional for advice if they are feeding intermittently or using a powdered or decanted feed.

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What should my patient do with the used giving sets and feeding container once they have finished with them?

Any used giving sets and feed containers can be rinsed and recycled or discarded with household waste.

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How long can Abbott Nutrition Ready-to-Hang (RTH) bottles be hung for?

As a guide, Abbott Nutrition Ready-to-Hang bottles can be hung for up to 24 hours. Always follow the advice of a healthcare professional.

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What should a patient do if their feeding tube is leaking?

They should contact their doctor, public health nurse or dietitian.

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Where do you get giving sets and syringes from?

When leaving the hospital, your Dietitian will arrange an order for giving sets, syringes and Flexitainers® (if required) with your local health centre or local pharmacy. When you have 7 days’ supply left, contact your local health centre or local pharmacy to re-order more giving sets and syringes.

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Does my patient require ENFit® Adaptors?

ENFit adaptors are only required if the PEG tube has not been updated to a new ENFit ® compliant PEG tube. For further information on how to order ENFit® adaptors, please contact the Abbott Nutrition Hospital to Home helpline on 1800 22 11 66 or 01 469 1549.

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Hospital to Home Service

What products can Hospital to Home supply my patients with?

Abbott Nutrition Hospital to Home service will supply your patient with the following to assist them in managing their tube feeding at home:

  • FreeGo® feeding pump
  • Drip stand
  • Starter pack of giving sets
  • A portable carrying bag for the FreeGo® feeding pump, if required.
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How will my patient be trained on how to use the Abbott Nutrition feeding pump?

Before a patient is discharged from hospital, they will be trained on how to use the Abbott Nutrition FreeGo® feeding pump. This may include how to use a feeding pump, how to use a giving set and how to set up the feed.

The patient will be provided with an information folder to take home. These will usually be provided by your patients dietitian or the Abbott representative.

The pump instruction manual includes a step by step guide on the pump, information on troubleshooting and contact numbers.

You can register your patient with the Abbott Nutrition Hospital to Home service which provides them with additional support in making the transition from hospital to the home.

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How do I register a patient with Hospital to Home?

To register a patient with the Abbott Nutrition Hospital to Home service, please follow the steps below:

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What if my patient does not require the Hospital to Home service anymore?

When your patients treatment has ended, the Abbott Nutrition Hospital to Home team will arrange to collect the pump, unopened feed and ancillaries from your patient free of charge. Please contact Hospital to Home on 1800 22 11 66 or 01 469 1549 to arrange collection.

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Is there a Hospital to Home helpline and if so, when is it open?

Yes, the Hospital to Home service operates a helpline, 1800 22 11 66. It is a freephone number and is open from 9.30am to 5.30pm, excluding Bank Holidays. You can also contact Hospital to Home by email at h2h@abbott.com.

For pump-related emergencies outside normal business hours, please dial the freephone number and listen for the 24 hour out of hours/emergency number provided. In a medical emergency, please contact your Dietitian, Public Health Nurse, Pharmacist or GP.

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Dietetic Services

What are Abbott Nutrition’s Dietetic Services?

The Dietetic Services team provides advice on Abbott Nutrition products as well as
support for patients, family members, carers and healthcare professionals. Please
contact our Dietetic team on 1800 411 411.

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How can I request some clinical papers?

Call us on the Freephone Dietetic Helpline 1800 411 411 or email us at abbott_nutrition_irl@abbott.com with details of your request.

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