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gastrostomy feeding

mushla Member Posts: 4 Listener
edited November 2014 in Cerebral palsy
There seems to be a discrepancy in the way carers are trained to administer gastrostomy feeds in the community. I was taught never to use the plunger on a syringe unless absolutely necessary e.g. for medication and then only for small amounts to avoid making my son feel uncomfortable and, possibly, vomit. Gravity is always the best way. The care home staff were taught to use the plunger at all times with no explanation as to why.


  • Blue Frog
    Blue Frog Member Posts: 358 Pioneering
    Hi Mushla, good point things do seem to differ. I was taught the same as you, just plunging for meds as otherwise it's too fast and you risk it all coming back up. Did they tell you to use cooled boiled water to flush, or just tap water? That seems to change according to who I speak to!!
  • mushla
    mushla Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi Kathy,

    I was told tap water but I suppose if there is a possibility of infection, that could be the reason behind cooled, boiled water. It seems a bit excessive to me because the feeds are not sterile.
    The thing that worries me about the plunger is that the care home staff were not even priming the tube because they, and I quote, "did not know what that meant". The result was my poor boy was having about 10ml of air pushed into his stomach every time it was used: at least 6 times a day! If they had used the bolus method, that could not have happened because it would not have worked without priming the tube so their ignorance would have been picked up by the so-called professional training them.
    Don't you wish they would standardise it and explain why they are doing things the way they are?


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