What is nasogastric (ng) tube?

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Nasogastric (NG) tube in children: Overview

A nasogastric tube, or NG tube, is a long flexible tube inserted through your child's nose and down the throat into the stomach. It delivers formula directly into the stomach to give children the nutrition they need.

NG feeding can be on a schedule. Or it can be ongoing, with help from a pump.

Some children are also allowed to eat or drink through the mouth while the tube is in place.

Inserting the tube usually isn't painful, but it may feel uncomfortable. Your child will likely need the tube for only a short time.

Nasogastric (NG) tube

A nasogastric (NG) tube is a long flexible tube inserted into a person's nose and threaded into the stomach to deliver fluid that contains nutrients directly into the stomach (tube feeding). An NG tube may also be used to drain liquid or air from the stomach and to deliver medicines to a person who temporarily cannot swallow.

How can you care for your child who has a nasogastric (NG) tube?

  • Follow your doctor's instructions for use and care of the feeding tube. These instructions will be based on your child's age and weight. Your doctor will:
    • Teach you how to check the position of the tube before the start of a feeding.
    • Tell you what feeding formula and fluids to put through the tube.
    • Tell you how often to give a feeding and how fast the feeding should be.
    • Explain what to do if the tube is blocked or comes out.
  • Always wash your hands before handling the tube and formula. Wash the top of the can of formula before you open it.
  • Flush the tube with plain water after each feeding to keep it clean. Do not put anything other than formula or water through the tube unless your doctor has told you to.
  • Check your child's nose often to make sure the tube isn't causing soreness. Also make sure the tape is still holding the tube in place.
  • Talk to your doctor if your child vomits or has diarrhea or bloating during feeding. Your doctor may have you slow down the rate of feeding.
  • Be careful the feeding tube doesn't become tangled around your child's neck. This can strangle your child. Your doctor or nurse can give you suggestions for how to keep the tubing from becoming wrapped around your child's neck.

What is a nasogastric (NG) tube?

A nasogastric (NG) tube is a long flexible tube inserted into a person's nose and threaded into the stomach. An NG tube may be used for treatments such as draining liquid or air from the stomach and delivering medicines.

It also can deliver fluid that contains nutrients directly into the stomach. This is called tube feeding.

What is a nasogastric (NG) tube used for?

An NG tube can be used for different kinds of treatments. For example, it may be used to:

  • Release pressure from the bowel if there is a blockage in the intestine.
  • Deliver charcoal or other medicines into your body to treat poisoning.
  • Pump the stomach clean in cases of poisoning.
  • Feed the body nutrients.

Nasogastric (NG) tube in children: When to call

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child chokes or has trouble breathing during a feeding.
  • The tube comes out.
  • The tube is blocked.
  • Your child has new or worse belly pain.
  • Your child has a fever.
  • Your child is vomiting.
  • Your child cannot pass stools or gas.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if your child has any problems.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.