PEG tube complications can be attributed to how a peg tube is inserted or removed. While these are generally safe and effective, it's important to be aware of feeding tube complications.
A PEG or percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube is a device inserted into the stomach via the abdominal wall to provide nutrition and medications to patients who cannot take them orally. Like any medical device, a feeding tube in stomach can sometimes cause problems.
Many g-tube problems are preventable with due diligence and proper hygiene measures. While the more complicated issues may require immediate medical attention.
Here are the PEG tube problems and how to prevent them.
One of the major reasons for a clogged peg tube is the buildup of formula or medications. Flushing the tube may solve the issue. However, the blockage can also result from fungal growth in the tube. In such cases, the tube must be replaced.
As a precaution, general practitioners prescribe medicines in liquid or dispersible tablet form to minimize the risk of blockages.
You should flush the feeding tube before and after every feeding and medication session.
Even when you're not using the tube for feeding, it's a good idea to flush it with water once daily to keep it clear. Your dietitian will tell you how much water to use and when to flush. Your doctor might suggest more frequent flushes if needed.
To unclog the G-tube -
If none of these methods work for unclogging the tube, here is what you should do -
Infections around the tube site are a common feeding tube complication resulting from poor hygiene, contaminated feeding supplies, skin conditions, improper insertion, compromised immune systems, stagnant feed, or any underlying health conditions.
Peg tube infection is characterized by the following -
Infections around the g-tube can lead to serious consequences if not treated on time. Here is what you can do -
Infections can be serious; hence, involving a medical professional as early as possible is crucial to prevent further peg tube complications.
In the initial days after peg tube placement in stomach, it's normal for a slight discharge of thin, yellow-green fluid to stick to the tube.
Some stomach contents, water, or formula leakage from the stoma is common, but excessive leakage can lead to skin problems, a larger stoma, and discomfort.
Reasons for the leakage include tube movement, excessive tissue growth, tube damage, infection, and stomach pressure issues. You can prevent leaking peg tubes by limiting the stoma movement and keeping the stoma site hygienic.
Leakages around a feeding tube are common for most individuals. In many cases, using an absorbent wound dressing and a barrier cream around the stoma can effectively absorb moisture and prevent additional problems.
However, if the leakage is still persistent or coupled with abdominal pain, contact a doctor for further evaluation and assistance.
According to a study by the National Library Of Medicine, accidental dislodgement or removal of the tube is a common peg tube complication. It is often seen in neurologically impaired patients.
Early dislodgement can happen within 7-14 days of placing the feeding tube before the stomach opening fully matures. Consult your doctor immediately if the tube dislodges.
It's essential to take precautions, especially in patients with recent surgeries. Properly securing and monitoring the tube can help prevent the peg tube from dislodging accidentally.
Aspiration occurs when the food or liquid enters the airway instead of the esophagus. It can happen during tube feeding or be a PEG tube removal side effect.
The risk of aspiration increases for those with dysphagia, as the food might get stuck in the throat and enter the airway. Aspiration can lead to respiratory infections, pneumonia, and other health issues.
If these symptoms arise, consider halting the feeding and contact your doctor.
These precautions and guidelines can significantly lower the risk of aspiration and its potential complications.
Remember, following your healthcare provider's instructions and guidelines for managing PEG tube complications is essential. To deal with PEG tube complications, contact your healthcare professional for proper treatment.
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Shweta Chaubey, has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. An advocate-turned-writer, her desire to create meaningful and positive content has brought her to HPFY and what better than writing ...
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