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A nasogastric tube (NG tube) can be used for feedings when your child is not able to eat or drink enough by mouth. A nasogastric tube passes through the nose, down the throat and into the stomach. Nasoduodenal (ND) and nasojejunal (NJ) tubes are like NG tubes but end in the intestine.
An NG tube is long and flexible. The end that stays outside the body has an opening (port or feeding connection) that attaches to a feeding syringe or bag. The tube is secured to the skin with tape. It is important to take care of the skin around the feeding tube. Watch for skin irritation and keep the area clean and dry.
Many children can still eat and drink by mouth with an NG tube. Your care team will recommend feedings based on your child’s needs. Follow instructions for care and use of the NG tube. Your care team will let you know when the NG tube needs to be replaced. Long-term NG tubes are usually replaced every 30 days or as needed.
Always wash your hands with soap and water before giving feedings or caring for the tube.
You must check to make sure the tube is in the correct place at least 1 time each day. A good time to do this is when you have stopped the pump to change the feeding bag or to if you are using the NG tube to give medicines.
These steps will help you check the correct placement of the tube:
If you are not sure that the tube is in the correct place, do not use the tube. Contact your health care provider so the tube can be checked.
Watch for signs of choking or problems digesting the medicines or formula. This may be caused by incorrect tube placement, the rate of the feeding, or other issues. These warning signs include:
If any of these symptoms occur, stop the feeding, and call your child’s doctor right away.
Find more information on tube feedings.
Find more information on how to give medicines through a feeding tube.
Reviewed: September 2022