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.
- 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?
- Clean the patient’s mouth at least twice a day.
What should I do if the tube is blocked?
- 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.
- 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