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How To Prevent Feeding Pump Problems Related To a Clogged Tube

Amy Long Carrera, MS, RD, CNSC, CWCMS
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist | Shield HealthCare
12/02/14  7:53 PM PST
Clogged Tube

If formula doesn’t seem to be flowing through your feeding pump or the pump stops before it should, it may be due to a clogged tube. Consider the way you are delivering medications or supplements through your feeding tube. Mixing additives with the formula can cause reactions or form solids that may cause your tube to clog. Instead of adding the med or supplement to the formula, administer these additives separately, using a syringe.

Follow these steps:

  1. Stop the feeding.
  2. Flush the tubing with water, using a 30 to 60 milliliter oral syringe. The amount used depends on your hydration needs but at least 15 to 30 milliliters should do the trick.
  3. Dissolve the medication or supplement in water. Administer each medication or supplement separately.
  4. Flush the tube with at least 15 to 30 milliliters of water before restarting the feeding.

More clog-prevention tips:

  • Flush the tube before and after every use. Residual  formula or medications can stick to the sides of the tubing and dry there, causing a clog later.
  • Flush the tube with at least 15 to 30 milliliters of water at least every 4 hours when the tube is not in use.
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