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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A nasogastric (NG) tube is a long, thin, flexible tube inserted through your nose and down into your stomach or small intestine. You may be sent home with the tube in place in order to get the nutrition you need. Your tube will be removed by your healthcare provider when it is no longer needed.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
NG tube care:
- Wash your hands before and after touching the tube. You may be directed to wear gloves. This will help keep bacteria away from your tube.
- Keep the outside tubing above the level of your stomach. This will help prevent fluid from backing up into your NG tube. Make sure that the tube is pinned to your clothes. This may help prevent discomfort and pulling on the tube.
- The tape that attaches the NG tube to your nose or cheek may need to be changed every day. The tape will also be changed if it gets wet or dirty. You will need check the skin on your nose for any inflammation.
- Placement of the tube will need to be checked several times during the day. Healthcare providers will teach you how to remove and test stomach fluid to confirm placement.
- Your NG tube will need to be flushed before and after feedings or medicines are put in the tube. Your NG tube may also need to be flushed if the tube becomes blocked. Follow your healthcare provider's instructions on how to flush your tube.
Call your healthcare provider if:
- You have redness or a sore where the tube enters your nose.
- You have heartburn.
- You have a fever.
- Your tube is blocked and does not open with flushing.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately if:
- You are vomiting.
- You suddenly start coughing and become short of breath.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.