Feeding Tubes: Irrigation

  1. Perform hand hygiene.
  2. Prepare equipment at patient's bedside, and apply gloves.
  3. Verify tube placement if fluid can be aspirated.
  4. Draw up 30 ml of normal saline or tap water in syringe.
  5. Kink feeding tube while disconnecting it from feeding-bag tubing or while removing plug at end of tube. Place end of feeding-bag tubing on towel.
  6. Insert tip of catheter into end of feeding tube. Release kink, and slowly instill irrigating solution.
  7. If unable to instill fluid, reposition patient on left side, and try again.
  8. When saline or tap water has been instilled, remove syringe. Reinstitute tube feeding, or administer medication as ordered. Irrigate before medications, between different medications, and after the final medication (before feedings are reinstituted).