Jun 21 10
by cara
at 12:53 PM
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GI Update: Clogged Tube and Tape Removal

First of all, I want you all to go check out this post on gastroparesis at LittleStomaks today that mentions us.  I was SO excited to read this!  This post is the result of a comment I left on a post last week about when to worry about your underweight child.  It totally made my day to help spread some information about gastroparesis!  LittleStomaks is a fantastic blog about toddler nutrition, and I hope you’ll check it out!

Now, on to the update…

When we’re actually using The Littlest Apple’s NG tube with a formula that doesn’t make him hyperactive, we feel encouraged and hopeful that he’s gaining weight and getting the calories he needs.  But it seems that more often than not, we’re facing obstacle after obstacle.  Does it seem that way to you, too, my readers?

We waited on the shipment of new formula (the one containing pureed chicken, peas, green beans, peaches and cranberries) for 5 days. During those 5 days, we opted NOT to use the old formula since it was making him so crazy.  So finally, FINALLY the new formula came last Thursday!  That evening, we set everything up, primed the pump, then checked the NG tube only to find it CLOGGED!  The NG tube should be flushed out with water after each night feed, but during those 5 days of nothing, we didn’t flush it because we didn’t put any formula in it.  Lesson learned.  Flush your NG tube at least once a day, whether you’re using it or not.

When an NG tube gets clogged, you have to remove it and place a new one which is traumatic for everyone involved (to say the least).  But just to add another obstacle, we didn’t really have the supplies we needed on hand.  (Another lesson learned-always have a spare tube!).  We removed the tube and tape on Saturday morning.

Here’s what his cheek looked like under the tape:

It was even bleeding a little. (Oh, and he’s got fudgsicle on his face too, in case you were wondering.)  Poor kid.  Looks like he was allergic to the most recent tape we used.  The tape (Duoderm) was supposed to be gentler on the skin than the harsher Tegederm (which we use on top of that).  I guess I should have been prepared for that since I had a blistery reaction to the tape used after my emergency c-section when The Littlest Apple was born and after my ruptured ectopic pregnancy surgery in December.  The Littlest Apple certainly seems to have inherited all of my skin sensitivities.

So now we’re keeping the NG tube out and tape off his face until his cheeks heal.  This is really slowing his weight gain down, but I’m thoroughly enjoying kissing his sweet little (slightly chubbier?) cheeks in the meantime.  And dreading the NG tube re-placement.  The Picky Apple and I have decided we’re going to try it on our own next time.

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  1. Ricki permalink

    Poor little guy! I had the exact same reaction to the tape/bandage adhesive from my c-section too, so I know it’s no picnic. I hope he’s feeling better soon!

  2. Hello Cara

    Thanks for the kind words about my blog. Ever since you wrote about your son’s condition, I have been thinking about it a lot. I was really surprised to learn that gastroparesis is becoming quite common these days, and yet, we don’t hear about it in the media. Much of it seems to be driven by increasing rates of diabetes – both type 1 and type 2. Still, not a whole lot is known about the so called “idiopathic” gastroparesis you son has. I wonder who is at the forefront of research in this area.

    I am curious about the “formula” you use to feed via the NG tube. Where do you get it from? Do you get enough nutritional information and details of ingredients so you can determine if a particular formula will have a bad effect? Also, I wonder if there is link between the type of the formula and NG tube clogging.

    Please write to me via my email if you wish not to answer on your blog.

    Good luck to you. Enjoy kissing the chubby cheeks!

  3. Agnes permalink

    Hi Cara,

    Here are my littel tips with the NG tube. My son had the tube from 5 months to 10 months old. First, I have tried tegaderm, duoderm and cloth tape on him and those really hurt his skin as they are not breathable. We used hypafix http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000LRCW9Y/ref=oss_product and cut it into a one piece shape that carry from the mustache area to the cheek. We only used one layer of tape on it and the material is very securer. We change his tape daily and clean his face, that helps with the irritation as well and of coz alternate sides. One more trick to keep the tube not tangle at night is to pin it to his back so at least the tube won’t wrap his neck. It is great that littlest Apple is not pulling it out because my son used to pull it out and we have to re-insert it. I hope the tape suggestion will help your littlest Apple.


  4. TwinToddlersDad: We order our formula from Nestle Nutrition (both the old and new formulas). Complete ingredient lists and nutritional info are available on the site. We’re only guessing that it was the sugar causing the behavior problems, but I suppose if those continue w/ the new formula, we’ll start looking more closely at the other ingredients too.

    I don’t think there is a link between the formula and the NG tube clogging. I think we just didn’t take care of the NG tube properly by flushing it out daily.

    Agnes: Definitely going to check out the hypafix tape you mentioned. It sounds wonderful! I wish we could get away with just taping on one side, but with my guy being so active and constantly rubbing at his face, we’ve GOT to tape it on both sides to make it extra-secure. Thanks for the tips!

  5. Hi there … just found your blog. Love it!!!

    Not sure if you already know of this stuff or not … but Skin Prep is something you apply under the dressing/tape to help protect the skin. I am sure you can get if from the same place his tubing and tape comes from.

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