A blocked tube can easily prevented with precautions. Make sure to flush the tube before and after each feed or medication. Use either sterile or cooled boiled water with a 20ml (minimum) syringe to minimize pressure and volume. The dietitian will advise you on how much water you need for adequate flushing. Do not use acidic solutions like fruit juices or cola, as this could curdle the feed and block the tube further. Gently squeeze the tube between your fingers along the length of the tube and repeat flushing if the blockage does not cleared. It can take up to 30 minutes to unblock the tube.
A tube can get blocked because of:
If you take good care of your tube, the color should not change. However, if the tube has been in place for a long period of time some discoloration may occur due to the feed and medications.
Over-granulation means the overgrowth of skin around the stoma site where the feeding tube is inserted. This might happen since your body is trying to repair the surgical incision. Over-granulation is common and treatable. If you notice it developing around the stoma site please inform your healthcare provider.
It is possible sometimes that your feeding tube might become loose or dislodged with coughing, sudden movements or accidental or excessive pulling of the tube. If so happens stop feeding straight away. If you have an NG tube and you've been shown how to replace it, please do so. Otherwise, you'll have to go to hospital and have your NG or NJ tube replaced by a healthcare professional beforehand to avoid waiting in Accident & Emergency.
If you have a gastrostomy (PEG or RIG button) or jejunostomy and it is accidentally removed, please put a dressing over the site and go as quickly as possible to the hospital Accident & Emergency Department or get in touch with your emergency contact, as the stoma will begin to close up.
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