Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Some Tips on Tube Feeding

I admit that I am no expert on Nasogastric Tube Feedings (NGT Feedings) but I just want to share some nursing tips on how to make feeding easier and of course safely. Here they are:

  • Position the person so that he or she is sitting up, or at least so the upper-body is above the level of the stomach.
  • Practice good sanitation. Wash your hands before handling the feeding equipment. Wash feeding bags with water. Do not use soap, as it will stick to the inside of the bag and get into the formula. This can cause diarrhea and other unpleasant consequences.
  • Feedings should be given at room temperature to minimize risk of cramping and/or diarrhea. Open cans of formula could be kept in the refrigerator, and discarded if not used within 24 hours. They should be taken out 15-20 minutes before a feeding and allowed to warm up to room temperature.
  • Always flush the feeding tube with water after a feeding. This will help to prevent the patient from getting dehydrated. It will also prevent the food from getting clogged.
  • If medications are to be run down the feeding tube, always be sure they are finely crushed. Flush the tube with water to wash them down.
  • If the tube seems to be clogged and a small flush of water isn't effective, a flush of about 100cc of cola may do the trick. You can also try dissolving a quarter teaspoon of meat tenderizer in a teaspoon of water and placing it into the tube. Wait five minutes before flushing again. If none of these strategies work, contact your health care provider(s) for advice.

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