G/GJ tubes: What to do if your child’s feeding tube is blocked

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Learn what to do if your child's feeding tube becomes blocked.

Key points

  • If your child’s tube becomes blocked, it is important to try to unblock the tube right away.
  • If your child’s tube has an adaptor, remove it first to check if it is the cause of the blockage.
  • Use a pulsating push-and-pull motion with warm water to try to unblock your child’s feeding tube. If this does not work, contact your G tube specialist.
  • If you have a prescription for pancreatic enzymes and sodium bicarbonate, try this method if warm water does not work.
  • If your child has a low-profile G tube, first try to flush the tube via the feeding port. If this does not work, remove the tube and try to unblock it manually. You may need to change the low-profile tube or insert a Foley type catheter.
  • Prevent tube blockage by flushing with 5 to 10 mL of water, or the amount recommended by your health-care team before and after you give a tube feed or medication, and every four hours during continuous feeds.
Last updated: September 17th 2019