Nasogastric (NG) Tube
Before the Procedure
If your child is a baby or toddler, they may be swaddled in a blanket for greater comfort. Infants and children respond best if a parent is there with them, offering comfort and support. Sometimes it’s difficult to watch your child go through a procedure or treatment. If you don’t feel like you can do this, it’s OK – you can leave the room and return after the procedure is done.
During the Procedure
After the placement is done, the tube will be taped onto the cheek. Your nurse may mark the tube with ink at the nose so they can know if moves.
After the Procedure
You’ll want to watch your child and make sure they don’t remove the tube, since babies and children sometimes will try.
If tube feedings are done at home, you’ll be taught all the steps before you leave. Ask the nurse any questions you may have. It’s better to ask too many than too few. You might even want to keep a list of questions with you, such as how to give feedings, problems you should watch for, who to contact if you have questions, and what supplies you’ll need and where to get them. Often written information about these details are given when you leave the facility, but if not, don’t be afraid to ask.
Your First Day at Home
Check the tube several times a day to make sure it hasn’t moved. This could happen if your child throws up or is uncomfortable and tries to remove the tube. If you ever have any doubts about tube placement, pull it out and replace it.
Also remember, that even if your child isn’t eating or taking medication by mouth, oral care is still very important. Frequent toothbrushing or using infant oral swabs are necessary.
Refer to your notes or discharge information as you get started. Keep your urgent and emergent handout on hand for quick reference.
Remember: the first day at home after any big change is going to require some adjustment. But before long, you’ll become more used to what to do and how to do it and you’ll develop a new routine that’s second nature to you.