A gastrostomy feeding tube is a device that is used to supply nutrition when you have trouble eating. It is inserted into the stomach and this process is called as feeding tube insertion, percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG), esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) or gastrostomy tube insertion.
Before gastrostomy tube feeding/peg tube feeding, supplies to collect include a 60cc syringe, prescribed liquid food, a measuring cup, a clean container and an IV pole to hang the food container to. To accept your liquid food, attach the tube from the end of the food bag to the end of your gastrostomy tube. Before the process of gastrostomy tube feeding/peg tube feeding, always wash your hands thoroughly. Attach the 60cc syringe to the end of your peg tube feeding and confirm its placement.
On pulling back the plunger yellow green gastric juices flow into the tube and this confirms the position of the gastrostomy tube feeding/peg tube feeding in the stomach. In case of a large amount of fluid pulled back, ensure to not continue gastric feeding. Instead, inject the stomach content back as it contains important minerals. Clean the tube by flushing water through it. Wait for a few hours before gastrostomy tube feeding can be attempted again.
On occasion of attempting gastrostomy feeding at home, one may need to compare the length of the feeding tube to one in the hospital. Peg tube feeding will not be possible if no stomach content can be seen on pulling back. The length can be confirmed with the help of your doctor by measuring with a ruler the length of the gastrostomy feeding tube.
When attempting to do self peg tube feeding, open the clamp on your tube to adjust the speed of the gastrostomy feeding. Insert the tip of the tube into your feeding tube connecting it to the liquid food container. Slowly open and adjust the speed clamp to control the speed of gastrostomy feeding. The process of gastrostomy feeding should last for 45-60 minutes. On experiencing symptoms like choking or difficulty in breathing during, stop the peg tube feeding and consult your doctor immediately. Fill the container with the amount of water prescribed by your doctor on finishing the gastrostomy tube feeding. This allows a sufficient amount of fluids for you and also flushes out the tube. Roll down the clamp to turn off the food container and wash thoroughly after each use.
Self-administration of the tube may not always be easy or convenient for all patients. In such cases, professional assistance comes handy as a trained nurse will have through knowledge of gastrostomy tube feeding. Emoha Elder Care offers nursing care at home that offers 24/7 assistance in all the nursing needs of the patient. Any complications or difficulties with feeding can entirely be managed by our Care Angels (Nurses) and Care Partners (Attendants) at home, for your elderly’s comfort.