Open a PDF version to print this topic

HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Tube feeding with a nasogastric or nasojejunal tube

Whāngai ā-ngongo ki te ngongo ā-ihu

A nasogastric (NG) or nasojejunal (NJ) tube is a tube that goes through your nose and into your stomach (NG) or jejunum (NJ). The jejunum is part of the small intestine. The tube allows you to take special liquid food (feed), medications and fluids if you cannot meet all your nutritional needs by eating normally.

Feeding

Important

Only put the following down your feeding tube:

Do not put puréed food down your feeding tube.

Flush your feeding tube with warm water before and after you tube feed. Also flush it before and after you take medications down your tube. To stop your tube from blocking, also flush it every 3 to 4 hours during the daytime whether or not you are feeding.

If you have safe drinking water, you can use tap water to flush your tube. Otherwise, use boiled, cooled water.

If you have a jejunal tube, always use boiled, cooled water to flush your tube.

Feeding methods

If you have an NG tube, there are 3 methods of tube feeding, gravity feeding, bolus feeding and pump feeding. Your dietitian will decide which type of feeding is best for you.

If you have an NJ tube, you can only use pump feeding.

Gravity feeding – This is where the feed flows out of a syringe or feed bottle and into the feeding tube by gravity.

Bolus feeding via a syringe – This is when you have a set amount of feed at specified times during the day. This is like having meals at mealtimes.

Pump feeding – This is when a pump is used to continuously deliver a set amount of feed through your feeding tube over a set amount of time.

Your dietitian will discuss the options with you in more detail and provide you with a plan and instructions when needed. See:

Medications

The hospital pharmacist will review your medications before you go home. They will make sure you can take the medications through your feeding tube. There are some important points to note.

Caring for your equipment and feed

Feeding tube blockage

Your feeding tube may block if you do not flush it regularly or do not take your medications correctly.

You can stop your tube from blocking by flushing the tube with warm water. You need to do this before and after each feed and before and after giving medications. You also need to do it every 3 to 4 hours during the daytime whether or not you are feeding.

If your tube blocks, try the following to try to clear the blockage:

Important

If your feeding tube comes out, contact _______________  (your dietitian will enter this).

Supplies, syringes and giving sets

When you are discharged from hospital, the hospital dietitian will give you a small supply of nose plasters, syringes and giving sets.

When you need more nose plasters, you can order them from your local pharmacy. Nasofix is one of the brands you can use.

Your dietitian will organise your first supply of syringes and giving sets. For an ongoing supply, contact the Canterbury DHB Supply Department (see below).

Give as much notice as possible. Let them know if you cannot collect the syringes and giving sets as they can courier them to you. There is no charge for giving sets, syringes or delivery.

If you are under the care of the Ashburton Hospital dietitians, phone the Ashburton Supply Department (see below). You will need to collect your giving sets from the Supply Department.

Your hospital dietitian will organise your feed when you first go home. After this, your community dietitian or general practice team will organise it. If you need to contact your feed supplier because your feed has not arrived, use the contact details below.

Contact details

Canterbury DHB Supply Department

Phone: (03) 364-0082 or (03) 364-0080

Address: 4 Rapide Way, Yaldhurst (near the airport)

Hours: Monday to Friday, 7.30 am to 4.30 pm.

Ashburton Hospital Supply Department

Phone: (03) 307-8462

Address: Ashburton Hospital, Entrance D, 12 Elizabeth St, Ashburton

Hours open for collection: Monday to Friday, 10.30 am to 2.30 pm.

Feeding pump suppliers

For any concerns about your pump, use the following contact details:

Feed suppliers

Written by Nutrition & Dietetics, Canterbury DHB. Adapted by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed September 2021.

Sources

Page reference: 482994

Review key: HITUB-482880