Gastrostomy or Gastro-jejunum Tube: Syringe Feeding - Fairview Health Services
 
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Gastrostomy or Gastro-jejunum Tube: Syringe Feeding

Outline of child's abdomen showing stomach and small intestine. Port is outside body over stomach. Tube is connected to port and goes through skin. G-tube ends in stomach. G-J tube ends in jejunum (section of small intestine). Your child is going home with a gastrostomy tube (G-tube) or gastro-jejunum tube (G-J tube) in place. The G-tube is placed through the abdominal wall into your child’s stomach. The G-J tube is placed through the abdominal wall into your child’s stomach and extends into the jejunum (part of the small intestine). These tubes are used to deliver liquid food directly to your child’s stomach or small intestine. You were shown how to feed your child through the G-tube or G-J tube before your child was discharged from the hospital. This sheet can help you remember those steps when you and your child are at home. Arrangements may also be made for a home health nurse to help you.

NOTE: There are many types of G- and G-J tubes, syringes, and pumps. Your child’s tube and supplies may look or work differently from what are described and shown here. Always follow the instructions given by your child’s health care provider or home health nurse. Ask them for phone numbers to call if you need help. Also, make sure you have the phone number for your child’s medical supply company. You’ll need to order more supplies for your child in the future. Write all of these phone numbers below.

Health care provider phone number: ____________________________________

Home health nurse phone number: _____________________________________

Medical supply company phone number: __________________________________

Types of Feeding

  • There are two types of feeding that can be done with a G- or G-J tube:

    • Bolus feeding. A meal-sized amount of liquid food is given through the tube several times a day. Bolus feeding is given using a syringe or a pump.

    • Continuous feeding. Liquid food is dripped slowly through the tube. Continuous feeding is given using a pump.

  • Your child may be prescribed one or both types of feeding. Detailed instructions for each type of feeding are given below.

Bolus Feeding Using a Syringe

Your child’s health care provider or home health nurse will tell you how much liquid food to use for each bolus feeding. You’ll also be told how often to feed your child every day. Write these numbers below:

How much to give at each feeding:  _________________________

How often to feed: ­­ __________________________

Supplies

  • G- or G-J tube

  • Liquid food

  • Feeding syringe

  • Extension tubing

 Outline of baby with tube inserted in stomach. Feeding port is near skin, and clamp is on extension tubing.

 

 

 Outline of baby with tube inserted in stomach. Feeding port is near skin, and clamp is on extension tubing. Feeding syringe is inserted into extension tubing.

Steps

  • Wash your hands with soap and water.

  • Check the label and expiration date of the liquid food. Don’t use any can (or bag) if the expiration date has passed. Instead, get a new can (or bag).

  • Open the feeding port cap on the G- or G-J tube.

  • Connect the extension tubing to the feeding port of the G- or G-J tube.

  • Make sure the clamp on the extension tubing is closed.

  • Pull the plunger out of the feeding syringe.

  • Connect the feeding syringe to the other end of the extension tubing.

  • Pour the liquid food into the feeding syringe. Fill only to the amount that was prescribed by your child’s health care provider. 

  • Open the clamp on the extension tubing.

  • Hold the feeding syringe straight up. This allows the food to run through the G- or G-J tube by gravity. Adjust the angle of the feeding syringe to control the flow rate of the food.

  • If the food flows too slowly or doesn’t flow at all, place the plunger in the syringe. Gently, push the plunger a bit. This can help remove anything that is blocking or clogging the tube. Do not push the plunger all the way into the syringe or with force.

  • Refill the feeding syringe with food, if needed. Repeat steps until your child has received the prescribed amount of food.

  • After the feeding, flush the extension tubing with water (as you were shown in the hospital).

  • Disconnect the syringe from the extension tubing.

  • Disconnect the extension tubing from the G- or G-J tube.

  • Close the feeding port cap on the G- or G-J tube.

 Outline of baby with tube inserted in stomach. Feeding port is near skin, and clamp is closed on extension tubing. Feeding syringe is inserted into extension tubing. Hand is pouring liquid food into feeding syringe. 

 

 Outline of baby with tube inserted in stomach. Feeding port is near skin, and clamp is open on extension tubing. Feeding syringe is inserted into extension tubing. Liquid food flows into baby's stomach.

Additional instructions: ___________________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Call the doctor right away if any of the following occurs:

  • Your child has trouble breathing.

  • Redness, swelling, leakage, sores, or pus develops in the skin around the tube site.

  • You see blood around the tube, in child’s stool, or in contents of the stomach.

  • Your child coughs, chokes, or vomits while feeding.

  • Your child vomits between feeds.

  • Your child has a bloated or rigid abdomen (belly feels hard when gently pressed).

  • Your child has diarrhea or constipation.

  • Your child has a fever 100.4°F (38°C) or higher.

 

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