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tube feeding problems

Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2009

my dad is on hospice and has had a feeding tube for 6yrs and does bolus feedings. this past week he has started on 20mg morphine q4hrs and now his feeding is not going down it stays in the syringe. just wondering if anyone knows if this is normal and does the feedings just stop going down completely?

Posts: 142
Joined: Jul 2009

is he flushing the tube with clear water after the feedings? perhaps the tube got clogged? Is he using special feeds or any type of liquid? Our nutritionist told my husband only to use the special feeds (jevity) or ensure as anything else can clog the tube.

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

It is NOT normal for your dad's 'feeding' not to go down, clearly. That is, to state the obvious, what the tube is for, after all.

newbride's comments re clogging may or not apply, depending on the type of tube your dad has. She mentions 'special feeding' along with Jevity and Ensure. I can tell you from personal experience that without proper care Jevity can become like concrete within the G tube that I have used and use. It is critical to keep it flushed with warm water.

If dad is using this type of tube (and it doesn't sound like it), I would strongly encourage that you or someone else use a plunger device that comes with the tube, pour some warm water into the tube, and 'force' the water down the tube to clear obstruction.

Better yet, I wonder why the hospice staff have not been alerted to this situation. They should know EXACTLY what to do when they are advised of the predicament.

Obviously, a clogged tube means dad is not getting proper nutrition, is probably not getting ANY nutrition.

Maybe the hospice folks will tell you that is part of the plan at this point, given that he IS in hospice and now receiving routine doses of morphine?

Your best bet, HIS best bet, is to bring this up to the hospice folks and harp on it until you get a satisfactory answer. A clogged tube, in and of itself is unacceptable.

Take care,


carolinagirl67's picture
Posts: 153
Joined: Jul 2009


My sister is a Home health care nurse and she has helped us a lot with our PEG. It is normal for it to clog sometimes, she suggested for us to pour a coke down the tube to unclog it. IT WORKS. Check with your nurse or DR to make sure you Dad can have the coke. (some diabetics can't have coke), so just make sure. The coke will unclog it in about a few seconds. We actually pour a little coke or sprite down the PEG once every couple of days now to keep it clear. Good Luck. Donna

Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2009

or Club Soda will work.

I was wondering if anyone has ever seen a peg tube turn black inside. The hospital did a horrible job of cleaning the tube and there is black all at the top and then yellow crud (from Jevity) further down. We have used soda daily for a week with no change. Has anyone tried a pipe cleaner? Thoughts?

Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2009

I think you could use a pipe cleaner just be sure it doesn't go down too far. I have had 9 peg tubes since 10/2006 and i usually put club soda down mine to try to keep it clean. I also use about 32 oz of carrot juice in it on a daily basis. This makes it appear a little orange but doesn't clog it up. I am using jevity 1.5

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