clogged feeding tube

Does anyone have a tricks that work to unclog feeding tubes?
The past week, I have had trouble with my tube clogging when I first wake up in the morning after my pump has run all night. The dosage get's done while I am still asleep, so I don't realize this until my caregiver wakes me up in the morning. By that time, the excess formula has sat in my tube for a couple hours and thickened. The pump I use (EnteraLite Infinity) doesn't beep to let you know that a dose is done, so it automatically stops once the dose I have set is completed.

Yesterday, we had a really bad clog that even soda didn't fix right away. I had no idea that you are not supposed to force fluids down a clogged tube, so I forced the soda and warm water down the tube until it released the clog (which hurt badly and felt like my abdomen had exploded inside).
Is there anything else my caregiver can try to break up clogs faster in the feeding tube (I have a GJ tube)?


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The Infinity pump can be set to a dose of "infinity". When you set the dose hold the button until it says "INF" and then when the food is gone the pump will alarm because it doesn't have any more food. The pump should also alarm when a dose is delivered. to reset the alarm start with the pump off and hold the "on" and the "+" button at the same time. this will allow you to set the alarm at high or low. then press the "prime" button and then the + key to unlock the seetings. press the prime key again and the display will read "mute when done" or "beep when done". press the + key to set the pump to beep when dose is delivered. turn the pump off to save the settings. That should take care of the pump problem which should in turn take care of the clogging tube problem! Hope this works!

(all this info is on page 20 of the booklet that comes with the infinity pump)


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Thanks a bunch! I'll read that section of the owners manual and fix the pump tonight.


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We've had some pretty ugly clogs too. I found that putting coke in the bags and running it like a feed did the trick.

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I have mentioned this before, but when my daughter had a trans-gastric j tube (and tiny diameter, too - 8Fr) it clogged so frequently I became a bit of a pro at this.

The doc prescribed Pancrealipase (Cotazym) capsules and we open up a capsule and dissolve the contents with one crushed tablet of sodium bicarb. Use as small a syringe as you have (smaller = more pressure without the likelihood of blasting sensitive tissues inside) and connect the syringe directly to the tube, not to an extension if you have that option. Take an empty syringe and draw out as much as you can from the tube, then take your pancrealipase/bicarb slurry and flush it into and out of the tube with short quick strokes. Push in as much as you can, and then let it sit. Try to flush it in 10-15 minutes, if you are unsuccessful, repeat the slurry technique. We have had a lot of success with these methods, and have avoided a number of hospital trips.

Shame it was not so easy with her port - it was just removed and replaced with a Broviac when 3 rounds of tPa and a 24 hour wait would not clear it.

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