You are going home with a nasogastric feeding tube in place. You will need to check the tube regularly to make sure the tip of the tube stays in your stomach. You were shown how to care for your tube in the hospital. In general, these tubes are used for short-term use especially in adults. Tubes are used directly into the stomach or small intestine if longer access is needed (such as a G tube, PEG tube, or PEJ tube). This sheet helps you remember those steps when you are at home. Be sure you have the telephone number of your healthcare provider or caregiver easily available in case you have any questions or problems.
Gather your supplies:
Permanent marker pen
Measuring tape or ruler
50 mL syringe for use in flushing the tube and possibly for feedings
Check placement of your tube once every day.
Look for the mark on your tube at the place where it comes out of your nose. If there is no mark, make one.
Look to see that the mark you made on the tube is still in the same place each time you check placement.
Measure the length of the tube from your nose (nasal tube) to the end of the tube. If it’s not the same length as it was the day before, your tube may not be in the right place.
Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following:
Choking—call 911 right away
Trouble breathing during feeding, flushing, or giving medicine
Tube that can’t be unclogged
Tube that falls out or difficulty telling whether your tube is in your stomach
Tube that is cracked or breaking down
Diarrhea that lasts more than 3 loose stools
Constipation that lasts more than 48 hours
Nausea or vomiting
Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider
Bloody or coffee-colored drainage through tube
Red, warm, or tender skin around the tube
Sudden weight loss or gain (more than 2 pounds in 24 hours)
Bloated or tight stomach
Signs tube is not in right place. If these occur, stay in an upright position—do not lie down:
Feeding formula in your saliva
Problems catching your breath