G-Tube Feeding Tips
Gastrostomy Tube feeding is a way to ensure that the patient is getting adequate nutrition. If someone cannot physically eat or is not getting enough nutrition than tube feeding may be the best option.
A G-Tube is a flexible tube that enters the stomach through a surgical incision, called a stoma. Anytime something enters the body there is a risk of infection; therefore, it is important to wash hands frequently, keep the stoma clean and wash feeding containers daily.
Things to Know
How to Feed Yourself
Just follow these simple steps for a step-by-step guide on tube feeding:
- Wash Hands Thoroughly
- Attach a 60cc Syringe to the End of the Tube and Pull Back Note: You will expect to see some stomach fluid in the syringe. Talk to your doctor if you are not seeing any fluid.
- Insert the Feeding Bag Line into the G-Tube
- Adjust the Flow by Opening the Clamp Slowly
- After Feeding, Flush the Line by Adding Some Water Note: the amount of water to use here should be specified by a doctor.
How to Give Medication
Liquid Medication and crushable pills can be given through a G-Tube. First, check with a medical professional to determine if your pills are safe to crush and then follow these steps:
- Make Sure your Tube is Properly in Place
- Flush the Tube with 30cc's of Water
- Dissolve Fully-Crushed Pills in Warm Water
- Deliver Medication with a Syringe
- Flush Again with Water
There are many things to keep in mind when tube feeding.
- Make sure the tube is clean and free of obstruction. Do this by flushing with water immediately before and after feeding.
- Be aware of any changes in the length of the tube. These changes could indicate that the tube is out-of-place.
- Talk to a Doctor if you do not see fluid when testing. This could indicate a problem.
- You should not have difficulty breathing nor should you choke during tube feeding. This could mean that the flow is too fast.
- Sit-up during feeding. This will help things flow naturally.
Megan Weiler, Author