A gastrostomy tube is used for either feeding, giving medications or decompression. If the tube is used for decompression, air or liquids may be passed or taken out of your stomach through the tube. In most instances of decompression, a gastrostomy tube can help alleviate vomiting and stomach pain. A G-tube is inserted into your stomach and requires constant vigilance to combat against infection.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Antibiotic cream
- Sterile bandages
- Warm water
- Cotton swabs
- Latex gloves
- Medical tape
Wash your hands prior to the treatment of the infection. Thoroughly dry your hands and put on a pair of latex gloves.
Remove any previous bandages around the G-tube. Gently wash the surrounding skin with warm water and soap.
Remove any crusting of skin that has developed around the G-tube as gently as possible. Pat dry the skin. Take a cotton swab dipped in antibiotic ointment and liberally apply the ointment on the infected skin.
Redress the infected site with sterile bandages. Tape the bandage in place. Wash your hands after dressing the infection site.
Monitor your G-tube for leaking fluids and call your physician. As indicated by drugs.com, antibiotics may be prescribed to help clear the infection from your body.
Tips and warnings
- Gently cleanse the skin around the G-tube daily.
- Use tape to secure the G-tube in place, which will help minimise friction on the skin.
- Pay close attention to the development of granulation skin that develops around the G-tube.
- According to About Kids Health, granulation tissue develops when the body is trying to heal itself.
- Granulation tissue easily bleeds and this can lead to infections developing around the G-tube.
- Notify your physician if you see symptoms of redness on the skin around the feeding tube, pain and swelling of skin around the feeding tube or if the skin feels warm to the touch.
- Seek immediate medical attention if you develop oozing or bleeding from the feeding tube, a smelly discharge of liquid (that's green or yellow) from the feeding tube or if you develop a fever.
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