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Tube Feeding

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Tube feeding provides your body with nutrients when you are not able to eat or cannot absorb nutrition from the food you eat. Your tube feeding may be temporary or permanent. Tube feeding can be given through a tube placed in your nose and down into your stomach. Tube feeding can also be given through a tube placed directly into your stomach or intestines through your abdomen.

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Self-care at home with tube feeding:

  • Always wash your hands before touching your feeding tube, formula, or medicine. This lowers the risk of infection.
  • Make sure your tube feeding is connected to the correct port on the feeding tube.
  • The tube feeding formula should be at room temperature before your feeding. Formula that is too cold or too hot can cause discomfort or destroy nutrients in the formula.
  • Care for your feeding tube as directed. Flush your tube with warm water before and after feedings to prevent blockages.
  • Sit up during your feeding to avoid reflux and aspiration (movement of tube feeding into your lungs). Remain sitting for 1 hour after your feeding is complete.
  • Keep track of how much tube feeding you take in and how much you urinate. Write down any changes in bowel movements. Weigh yourself as directed by your healthcare provider.
  • Continue regular mouth care. Use mouthwash 3 to 4 times a day to keep your mouth moist and prevent infection.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You will need regular blood and urine tests to check for infection or other problems. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Seek immediate care if:

  • You have a constant cough or you vomit during or after a feeding.
  • You have increased pain during your feeding or when your PEG tube is flushed.
  • Blood or tube feeding fluid leaks from the PEG tube site.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have trouble breathing.
  • You have severe abdominal pain.
  • Your PEG tube comes out.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You are unable to get the feeding into your tube.
  • You have discomfort or pain around your PEG tube site.
  • You have nausea, diarrhea, or abdominal bloating or discomfort.
  • You weigh less than your healthcare provider says you should.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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.

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