DO YOU KNOW...

How to replace a feeding tube that comes out

 

Feeding tube emergency kit

If your child’s feeding tube gets pulled out by accident, the stoma can close very quickly. It is important to know how to replace the tube to keep the stoma from closing. Here is a list of supplies to keep on hand:

  • 2 catheters, one (1) catheter the same size as your child’s feeding tube and a second one that is smaller.
  • Low profile tube (button) the same size and length as your child’s (only if you are trained to replace the button)
  • Rubber band
  • Water-soluble lubrication jelly
  • 60 ml catheter tipped syringe
  • 10 ml slip tip syringe
  • Tape
  • Gauze dressing
  • Sterile or distilled water
Feeding tube emergency kit supplies

If you cannot put a device in the stoma to keep it open, take your child to the nearest hospital or doctor’s office as soon as you can to have it done.

lubricate the catheter

Lubricate the catheter

How to replace a feeding tube

Tube placed less than 6 weeks ago:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water. Dry them well. See “Do You Know. . . Clean Hands.”
  • Have someone help you by holding your child’s hands. Use water soluble lubricant to coat the end of the catheter that is the same size as your child’s tube.
  • Gently insert the catheter 2 to 3 inches into the stoma. Never force the catheter into the stoma.
Inserting the catheter

Insert catheter

  • If this does not work, coat the end of the smaller catheter with lubricant and try to insert it gently into the stoma.
  • If this does not work either, come to the hospital right away to have the tube replaced.
  • Close the catheter you placed with a rubber band to keep stomach contents from leaking out.
  • Tape the catheter to your child’s belly to keep it from moving.
Tape catheter down

Tape catheter to body

  • Between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday–Friday, call your child’s St. Jude clinic. After hours and on weekends, call St. Jude at 901-595-3300. Ask for the doctor on call or nursing coordinator.

Do not use the tube for feeding until your St. Jude team checks that it is back in the right position.

 

Tube placed more than 6 weeks ago:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water. Dry them well. See “Do You Know... Clean Hands.”
  • Have someone help by holding your child’s hands.
  • Use water soluble lubricant to coat the end of the catheter the same size as your child’s tube. Or coat the replacement low profile tube (button) with water soluble lubricant.
Lubricate catheter
Lubricate button
  • Gently insert the catheter 2 to 3 inches into the opening or place the new button in the stoma. Never force the catheter or button into the opening.
Insert catheter
Insert button
  • If you put in a new button, inflate the balloon with the correct amount of sterile water using a slip tip syringe.
  • If you cannot insert the same size catheter, coat the end of the smaller catheter with lubricant and try to insert it gently into the stoma.
  • If you cannot put in a catheter or new button, come to the hospital right away.
  • Tape the catheter to your child’s belly to keep it from moving.
  • Check that the catheter or button is in the right place by looking for stomach contents (formula, mucus, green drainage) dripping from the end of the catheter or button extension set. If you see stomach contents, put a rubber band around the catheter to close it or clamp the button.
Inflate balloon

Put in a new button

Tape the catheter

Tape catheter to body

Check catheter

Check for stomach contents

dressing

Apply a dressing

  • If you do not see stomach contents, come to the hospital right away.
  • Apply a dressing if drainage is leaking from the area.
  • Call your St. Jude clinical team to let them know you replaced your child’s tube or button. If you have any questions, your St. Jude clinical team can help.

 

This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

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