Tips for Gastrostomy Tube (G-tube) Care
Why is a G-tube necessary?G-tubes serve as a nutritional support for children with:
Basic Requirements for Daily Care of Your Child's G-tube
Steps for Cleaning the G-tube at Home
Troubleshooting Your Child's G-TubeIt can be common for your child's G-tube to come out, get clogged or leak. It's important to know what to do when these issues occur to avoid infection and help prevent your child from becoming ill. You can find troubleshooting tips for your child's G-tube here.
Possible Causes of Your Child's Nausea, Cramping, Distention and Diarrhea
What are the most common issues when caring for your child's G-tube?
Granulation Tissue Formation
Granulation tissue is an overgrowth of capillaries and looks red, raw and “beefy.” It may cause pain as the skin breaks down around the site. This is a very common problem with G-tubes. Some treatments are painful, especially with the use of silver nitrate. Treating granulation tissue formation should only occur if the skin is bleeding or causing distortion of the tract leading to heavy leakage of formula and fluid from the stomach.
Skin Infections and Leaking Tubes
A skin infection may be difficult to diagnose because often there is redness caused by the G-tube rubbing on the skin as well as a clear yellow discharge. The redness on the skin and clear yellow discharge is normal, and does not, by itself indicate infection. Additionally, gastric contents may leak and cause redness; this is a chemical reaction, not bacteria. Infection, on the other hand, will normally have some of the following symptoms: spreading redness, increased tenderness or pain, areas of raised red skin, fever, development of a lump or discharge of pus. If you child has a leaking tube, check placement and measurement. If your child has a balloon type device, check that the balloon is inflated with the correct amount of fluid. Inform your health care practitioner.
In the case of a G tube coming out, first of all, don’t panic! Your health care practitioner will have advised you before you went home to either cover the opening with gauze and tape to protect the site, or to insert a tube into the g tube site. If your practitioner wants you to insert a tube, you will have been taught how and given a replacement tube. Your practitioner will also have advised you to proceed to the emergency department or clinic. Ask your practitioner what you should do in the event the tube becomes dislodged.