Nasogastric Tube Feeding

  • 04 Dec 2019

Reference guide for patients and caregivers

What is a Nasogastric Tube Feeding?

Nasogastric tube feeding refers to the delivery of nutrients from the nasal route into the stomach via a feeding tube.


Items to Prepare (Before Feeding)

  • Clean container for storage
  • 50ml syringe (with catheter tip)
  • pH indicator (stored in airtight container)
  • Measuring jug
  • Disposable container/cup with warm water
  • Warmed up milk feeds as prescribed
  • Finely crushed or liquid form medication (preferred)

Steps to Feed Patient

  • Sit patient upright or prop up at least 30-45 degrees, or support with pillows (if sitting upright is not possible).
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Check the patient’s mouth for any tube dislodgement (e.g. tube coiling in the mouth).
  • Remove spigot and connect 50ml syringe to the feeding tube.

    • Aspirate < 200mls: Confirm tube placement by testing with pH paper. Then, return the feeds via tube and continue feeding.
    • Aspirate > 200mls: Return via tube and WITHHOLD FEEDS until next feeding time.
    • No aspirate: Inject 10-20mls of air OR turn patient to left side, wait for 15 minutes and aspirate again.
  • Aspirate & measure gastric aspirate:
  • Confirm position of tube in the stomach using pH indicator:
    • Proceed with tube feeding if pH is 4 or below.
  • Kink the end of the tube, attach the syringe and start feeding the patient with the prescribed amount of feeds.
  • Flush the tube with the prescribed amount of water after feeding.
  • Crush the medication (if any) and dissolve it in warm water.
  • Feed medication via tube and flush with 20mls of water.
  • Clean the used items, such as the syringe and measuring jug and leave it to air dry.
  • Wash your hands at the end with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Important Notes

  • Flush the tube with water each time after milk or medication feeding to prevent clogging.
  • Maintain the patient in a propped up position for at least 1 hour after feeding.
  • Take note of the total amount of feeds, water and duration, and record it in the note book.
  • DO NOT FEED other food through the tube without consulting your physician as it may clog the tube and alter the pH value of gastric aspirate.
  • Take note of the insertion date of the tube and date due for changing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I maintain the oral and tube hygiene?

Oral hygiene
  • Clean the patient’s mouth at least twice a day.
Tube hygiene
  • Clean nostrils daily using cotton bud moistened with warm water.
  • Change and secure nasal tube when loosen or soiled.
  • Avoid pressing the tube tightly to the nose to prevent broken skin.
What should I do if the tube is blocked?
  • If the tube is blocked, try to connect the syringe to the feeding tube and pull back the plunger.
  • If the above fails, DO NOT ATTEMPT to flush or push in forcefully.
  • Call your physician or send the patient to the nearest hospital.

For immediate medical care, please visit our 24 HR Emergency Clinic​ at:

24 HR Emergency Clinic​

Contact: (65) 6705 2999
Location: Level 2
Operating Hours: 24 Hours