Using Your PEG Tube Child on Homepage

A PEG tube or gastrostomy tube (G-tube) can be used to give your child formula, food, or medicine. There are two ways to give feedings: bolus or continuous. You and your health care providers will decide the best way to use your PEG tube.

Getting ready

  1. Wash hands with soap and water.
  2. Gather supplies: formula, water, medication, syringe, pump, bags.
  3. Prepare formula or medication.
  4. Inspect the PEG-tube and the skin around it.

Bolus feedings

Formula is given in a short period of time (10 – 20 minutes). This method is also used to give medications or extra fluid.

To give a feeding:

  1. Remove the plunger from a large catheter syringe and insert tip into connecting tube.
  2. Pour formula into the syringe. Raise the syringe to make the formula go in faster. Lower the syringe to go slower.
  3. When done feeding, flush with lukewarm water in the amount decided by your health care team.
  4. Clean syringe with soapy water. Rinse well with warm water and air dry.

Using Your PEG Tube drawings of feeding

Continuous feedings

Formula is given slowly over a long period of time (8 to 24 hours). A special pump and tube feeding bags are needed.

To give a feeding:

  1. Clamp the tube on the feeding bag.
  2. Add the formula to the bag.
  3. Unclamp the tube and allow the formula to fill the tubing. Reclamp when the formula reaches the feeding bag connector.
  4. Program the pump and attach feeding bag connector to feeding port on the PEG tube.
  5. Unclamp all clamps and start the pump.
  6. Disconnect when the feeding is complete.
  7. Flush the PEG tube with water using a syringe (see description under “Bolus Feedings”).
  8. Clean syringe with soapy water. Rinse well with warm water and air dry.

Using Your PEG Tube Giving Medications Closeup

Giving medications by the PEG tube

  1. Set out the correct dose of medicine to put into the PEG tube. Do not mix medication with formula or other medications unless instructed to do so by your doctor.
    • Liquids:
      • Most liquid medicine may be given through a PEG tube.
      • Draw up the exact amount of medicine into a syringe.
    • Pills:
      • Check with your doctor or pharmacist before crushing pills— some pills should not be crushed.
      • Crush the pill between two spoons (or use a pill crusher) to make a fine powder.
      • Mix the powder in water and make sure it dissolves completely.
      • Draw up all of the mixture into a syringe.
    • Capsules:
      • Check with your doctor or pharmacist if it is okay to open the capsule.
      • Open the capsule and mix the contents with water.
      • Draw up all of the mixture into a syringe.
  2. If your child is on a continuous feeding then stop the pump and disconnect the feeding bag tubing.
  3. Flush the medication port (see picture on other side) with a slip tip syringe filled with lukewarm water.
  4. Remove the empty syringe and insert the syringe with the medication. Give the medicine.
  5. Add lukewarm water to the syringe and flush medication completely through the tube into the stomach.
  6. If giving more than one medication at a time, flush with lukewarm water between each medication.
  7. Close the cap on the medication port. You can now restart feedings.
  8. Wash and dry the syringe and other supplies with warm soapy water and allow to air dry. Product illustrations courtesy of Corpack Medsystems and Tyco Healthcare


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