Abbott Nutrition Ireland
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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 regular meals and should 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 doctor, dietitian or nurse. 

However as a general guide, 2 bottles per day is the recommended amount to help bridge the calorie gap between what patients are able to manage from a normal diet and what the body needs to maintain a healthy weight.

2 bottles of Ensure® TwoCal contain the same nutrition as1-3

Energy 800 calories As 1200ml of milk milk
Protein 34g As 5½ medium eggs 3 eggs
Carbohydrates    84g As 5 slices of white bread bread
Vitamin D 68% of the RDA* As 1¼ salmon sandwiches  tuna wrap
Iron 94% of the RDA* As 8oz of beef steak steak
Calcium 86% of the RDA*

As 3 pots of fruit yoghurt

yogurt

*RDA = Recomended Dietary Allowance

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

References

1. Holland B et al. McCance & Widdowson’s The Composition of Foods. 5th edition. Royal Society of Chemistry: 1992
2. Food Standards Agency. Food Portion Sizes 3rd edition. London: TSO. 2002
3. Food Safety Authority of Ireland. RDA for Ireland: 1999

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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 and are covered by the medical card (GMS), long term illness (LTI) and drugs payment (DPS) schemes.

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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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Paediatric Feeds

Who can benefit from paediatric sip feeds?

Children with:

  • Disease-related malnutrition
  • Growth failure
  • Short bowel syndrome
  • Bowel fistulae
  • Intractable malabsorption
  • Pre-operative preparation of patients who are malnourished
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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 as1-3...

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

References:

1. Food standards agency. Food portion sizes. Third edition
2. Food standards agency. McCance and Widdowson’s The composition of Foods.
3. Food Safety Authority of Ireland. Recommendations Dietary Allowances for Ireland 1999.

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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 given by their doctor, dietitian or nurse. However as a general guide, 2 bottles per day is the recommended amount to help bridge the calorie gap between what patients are able to manage from a normal diet and what the body needs to maintain a healthy weight.

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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 (GMS), long term illness and drug payment schemes.

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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
  1. 1. Check expiry date before opening.

  2. 2. Shake the container gently to ensure there is no residue at the end of the bottle.

  3. remove the cap

    3. Remove cap. The tube feeds are supplied in ready-to-hang bottles to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination.

  4. 4. Attach the ready-to-hang bottle to the giving set, pump and administer at room temperature.

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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 one hour 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 one hour 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. If a patient requires their sip feed to be thickened, the patient's Doctor, Nurse or Speech and Language Therapist will advise you on which product and the quantity to use.

For best results:

  1. Measure the required amount of thickener into a small bowl.
  2. Slowly add the sip feed to the thickener and mix with a whisk or fork until it is completely mixed together
  3. Pour the thickened feed into a glass or cup
  4. Depending on the thickener used, it may be necessary to leave the drink to stand to ensure that it thickens to the required consistency.
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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?

Yes. 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 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 Abbott Nutrition feeds are suitable for vegetarians. Please contact our Abbott Nutrition Dietetic Helpline on 1800 411 411 if you require further advice.

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Are Abbott Nutrition feeds gluten free?

The vast majority of the Abbott Nutrition tube feeds and nutritional drinks are clinically gluten free and are suitable for people with Coeliac disease or who have a gluten intolerance.

Please contact our Abbott Nutrition Dietetic Helpline on 1800 411 411 if you require further advice.

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Are Abbott Nutrition feeds 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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Do Abbott Nutrition feeds have Kosher certification?

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?

Yes. The range of sip feeds provided by Abbott Nutrition are suitable for people with diabetes and should only be used under medical supervision. It is recommended that patients sip their feed slowly over a 20 minute period and space sip feeds out across the day. This will help to keep blood sugar levels stable. Patients should monitor their blood sugar levels regularly, as instructed by their healthcare professional.

Abbott Nutrition have sip and tube feeds designed specifically to help people with diabetes meet their nutritional needs called Glucerna® and Glucerna® SR respectively. Please contact our Abbott Nutrition Dietetic Helpline on 1800 411 411 if you require further advice.

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Are Abbott Nutrition feeds 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.

Ensure® TwoCal, Ensure® Plus, Ensure® Plus Yoghurt, Ensure® Compact, Ensure® Plus Fibre, Ensure® Plus Juce, Ensure® Plus Savoury, Ensure®, Enshake®, Ensure® Plus Crème and Ensure® Plus Variety pack are not intended for use in children under 6 years of age. However, their use in children under 6 years is left to the discretion of the healthcare professional.

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Do Abbott Nutrition add colouring agents to the PaediaSure® range of products?

Colouring agents are not permitted in foods specifically designed for infants and children under 3 years of age. As the PaediaSure® range of products are designed specifically for children, we have not added colouring agents.

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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 carrying bag for their feeding pump?

Abbott Nutrition provide carrying bags, 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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Who is responsible for servicing the FreeGo feeding pumps?

Abbott Nutrition will service the FreeGo feeding pump. To do this, we will deliver a newly serviced pump to the patient and take away the pump that requires servicing.

Please contact the Hospital to Home team on 1800 22 11 66 or 01 469 1549 if you have additional questions about servicing the FreeGo feeding pump or if you think that a pump requires servicing. Please remember the FreeGo pumps are loaned to patients by Abbott Nutrition so there is no charge for receiving a newly serviced pump. The location of a patients Freego pump must be registered with Abbott Nutrition.

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What should I do if my patient’s FreeGo feeding pump alarms and indicates a blockage?
  1. First, switch off the feeding pump (if it is running)
  2. Wash your hands
  3. To check if the blockage is in the giving set or feeding tube, disconnect the giving set from the feeding tube and run some feed into a cup. If the feed runs smoothly, then the blockage is in the feeding tube. If the feed does not run through the giving set, check the giving set for kinks in the tube and make sure that the clamp has not been left closed
  4. If the blockage is in the feeding tube, check that the clamp (if there is one) is not closed. Open the clamp and slowly syringe water down the feeding tube to push the blockage through. You may need to do this several times – do not use force
  5. Check that the blockage is cleared before you turn the pump back on
  6. If the blockage cannot be cleared, contact a healthcare professional for advice.
  7. Wash your hands
    NOTE: Do not use acid containing fluids such as fruit juice, fizzy drinks and/or sharp objects to try and unblock the tube.
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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?

Abbott Nutrition can deliver enteral feed to many common destinations outside of Ireland. We require at least four weeks notice before the departure date so that we can arrange to send enteral feed to the desired holiday destination. For further details, please contact the Hospital to Home team on 1800 22 11 66 or 01 469 1549.

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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.

Nutritional drinks

  • Ensure® TwoCal
  • Ensure® Plus Milkshake style
  • Ensure®  Plus Yoghurt
  • Ensure® Compact
  • Ensure® Plus Fibre
  • Ensure® Plus Juce
  • Ensure® Plus Savoury
  • Ensure® Plus Crème
  • Ensure®
  • Enshake®
  • Ensure® Plus Variety pack
  • PaediaSure®
  • PaediaSure® Plus
  • PaediaSure® Fibre
  • PaediaSure® Plus Fibre
  • PaediaSure® Plus juce
  • PaediaSure® Peptide
  • Similac® High Energy 200ml

Standard Tube Feeds

  • Jevity®
  • Jevity® Plus
  • Jevity® 1.5kcal
  • Jevity® Plus HP
  • Jevity® Promote
  • Osmolite®
  • Osmolite® Plus
  • Osmolite® 1.5kcal
  • TwoCal®
  • PaediaSure®
  • PaediaSure® Plus
  • PaediaSure® Fibre
  • PaediaSure® Plus Fibre
  • PaediaSure® Peptide

Specialised Feeds

  • Ensure® Plus HP
  • Glucerna® SR
  • Nepro® HP
  • ProSure®
  • Pulmocare®
  • Glucerna®
  • Perative®
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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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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.

Hospital to Home - how it works diagram

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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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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 friendly team on 1800 411 411.

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How can I request some clinical papers?

Simply click Request 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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