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Thread: G-Tube Clogging

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Boston, MA USA

    G-Tube Clogging

    Care Forum, it's been a long time since I've posted here. I'm happy to report that my husband is finally home after 2 years. It has been quite challenging here at home with limited help but nothing like the challenge of going to the facility where he was and watching the horrific care and him fight to stay healthy and alive day after day.

    The joy that comes from waking up to see his peaceful face and his happiness outweighs everything else. He's C3, vent dependent and doing extremely well since discharging from the Shepherd Center two years later. God is Amazing. Thanks to all who have responded to our previous posts.

    My husband is on a G-Tube and the flow is getting a little difficult. Is there anything that can be used to help flush and clean the tube. We are hoping not to have to replace the current one because my husband wants no part of hospitals.... We tried cranberry juice and coke but no luck... Any suggestions would be appreciated.


  2. #2
    First off, is your husband still followed by a GI doctor? If not, you might ask his MD for a consult. They may be able to reposition it or do an xray to check its position.

    Sometimes warm water with a little meat tenderizer will do the trick of unclogging a gastrostomy tube. We used to do this although I haven't seen it done for a while.

    The best thing of course is to keep it flushed at least daily with 30-60 cc of water if it is not being used on a regular basis. You mention a sluggish flow. If he is receiving tube feeds is it a continuous feed or done by bolus?

    How are you preparing the medications that go down the tube? These may be the culprit. If a suspension is available for any of the medications this would be preferrable to prevent clogging of the tube.

    You might also ask your MD for a consult with a nutritionist who specializes in enteral feedings. They may be able to troubleshoot and give you other suggestions.


  3. #3
    Welcome back mccc2! So happy to hear that hubbie is home.
    What type of G-tube does he have? My son had one for 7+ years. We opted for a Mic-Key tub vs j-peg because of the ease in changing it. I always changed it every six months on my own. It was simple and the GI nurse taught me. The j-peg can be difficult and painful to change. If your husband has a jpeg you might want to discuss the pros and cons of the Mic-Key. This would save a trip to the hospital for replacement. Coke and vinegar were my two standby cleaning tolls.I also soaked the extension tubes in coke for a good cleaning to remove all plaque.
    What type of feed is he using. We used Pediasure with fiber. If it was an old batch it always ran slow.Fiber was prone to clogging as well. We kicked up the number of cc's per hour and diluted with water to help with hydration, etc. We only did this on the advice of our nutritionist and doctor.
    Good luck and keep posting.

    "Don't worry about the world coming to an end today.
    It's already tomorrow in Australia!"----- Charles Schultz

  4. #4
    I hope PLG will forgive me for posting on her day, but we use this product where I work and it works much better than Coke. It is not cheap, but very effective:

    Clog Zapper

    Also, giving Metamucil via G-tube is a sure way to clog one. If you are doing this, find a different way to give fiber.


  5. #5
    Thanks KLD. Will save this one for my files too! PLG

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