Hi! My name is Amy Long Carrera, corporate
dietitian at Shield HealthCare. Today
we’re going to talk about how to unclog
your feeding tube.
If you notice resistance when you try to
put water or formula down your feeding tube
it may be clogged. Your tube can become
clogged with dried medication or formula
that sticks to the side of the tubing.
You may actually be able to unclog the
tube yourself using a 60 milliliter
syringe and warm water. Water is the best
choice to flush your feeding tube.
Research shows that other fluids like
carbonated beverages or juice may
actually make the clog worse. To unclog
your feeding tube, you will need a
60-milliliter syringe, warm water, and a
Always wash your hands before handling
your tube or any supplies.
First, attach a 60 milliliter syringe to
your tube and pull back on the plunger to
remove as much fluid as possible. Then
draw up at least 15 milliliters of water
into the syringe, or enough to fill the
part of your tube that you can see.
Using the plunger on the syringe, slowly push
the water into your feeding tube.
Gently move the plunger back and forth to help
loosen the blockage.
If the clog doesn’t release right away,
clamp the tube and let the water sit in
there for 5 to 15 minutes. If you can
see the clog, massage that part of the
tube gently with your fingertips.
If you repeat those steps a few times
and you still can’t clear the clog,
or if you’re unable to use your feeding tube,
contact your doctor or nurse.
The best way to prevent your tube from
becoming clogged in the first place is
to regularly flush it with the amount of
water recommended by your doctor or your dietitian.
Always flush your tube before
and after, every time you use it. And since
medications are more likely to clog your
feeding tube, be sure to dissolve each
medication completely before putting it
down your feeding tube, and flush it with
water afterward. When you’re not using
your tube, make sure the clamp is closed to
prevent air from entering the tube. And
make sure you regularly flush the tube
with water when it’s not in use.
Remember, water is the best fluid to use
to flush your feeding tube.
For more tips and tricks on tube feeding,
be sure to visit shieldhealthcare.com