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HealthInfo Canterbury

Tube feeding with a nasogastric or nasojejunal tube

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



Only put the following down your feeding tube:

Don't put puréed food down your feeding tube.

Flush your feeding tube with warm water before and after you tube feed, and before and after you take medications down your tube. To stop your tube from blocking, also flush it every three to four hours during the daytime whether or not you're 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 two methods of tube feeding, bolus feeding using a syringe 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.

Bolus feeding via a syringe – This is when you have a set amount of feed at specified times during the day. This is similar to 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 both options with you in more detail and provide you with a plan and instructions when needed. See:


The hospital pharmacist will review your medications before you go home to make sure you can take them 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 don’t flush it regularly or you don’t take your medications correctly.

You can stop your tube from blocking by flushing the tube with warm water before and after each feed, before and after giving medications, and every three to four hours during the daytime whether or not you're feeding.

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


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

Supplies, syringes and giving sets

When you're 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 can't collect the syringes and giving sets as they can courier them to you. There's no charge for giving sets, syringes or delivery.

If you're under the care of the Ashburton Hospital dietitians, phone the Ashburton Supply Department (see below). You'll 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 GP will organise it. If you need to contact your feed supplier because your feed hasn't 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.


Page reference: 482994

Review key: HITUB-482880