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Troubleshooting

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Making sure that your feeding tube is in the right position

If you notice that more or less of your feeding tube is hanging outside of your skin, your Entuit Thrive feeding tube may be out of place. Your feeding tube may also be out of place if the marks on your tube are in a different place from the last time you measured.

The standard-profile Entuit Thrive feeding tube has centimeter marks along the tube. Check the marks before each feeding to make sure that your tube has not moved. The length of the external part of your tube should be the same as the length that you recorded with your doctor when you received your feeding tube.

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What to do if your feeding tube is out of place

If your feeding tube is out of place, tell your doctor immediately and follow these steps:

  • Stop feeding at once and don’t use your feeding tube.
  • Check to see how much of the tube is out of place.
  • Tape the feeding tube to your skin to prevent further movement.
  • Get help from your doctor or another healthcare professional as soon as possible.

If your tube comes out, go to the hospital emergency room and bring your feeding tube with you. Your feeding tube will need to be replaced as soon as possible. If you don’t get help immediately, your stoma may begin to close.

Constipation

Constipation means that your stools are hard and are difficult to pass during a bowel movement. Using a feeding tube may give you harder stools and cause you to have fewer bowel movements. Take these actions to help prevent constipation:

  • Exercise and be as active as possible.
  • Use the restroom as soon as you need to have a bowel movement.
  • Record the time of your bowel movements to make sure that you are having bowel movements regularly.
  • Talk to your doctor if you are constipated.

Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea means that you have frequent, watery bowel movements. Talk to your doctor if you have diarrhoea.

Your doctor might suggest one or more of these solutions to long-lasting diarrhoea:

  • Feeding on a different schedule
  • Feeding at a different speed
  • Making sure that you store and use your liquid food correctly
  • Replacing your liquid food with water or a special solution for a short time
  • Changing your liquid food
  • Changing medicines
  • Changing the equipment that you use to feed

Preventing dehydration

Dehydration means that your body doesn’t have as much water and fluids as it should have. Diarrhoea may lead to dehydration. Watch for these signs of dehydration:

  • Dry lips
  • Dry skin
  • Fever
  • Unusual amounts of thirst
  • Weakness
  • Urine that is dark or has a strong odor

Your doctor may take these actions if you are dehydrated:

  • Recommend that you take extra water before, after, or in between your regular feedings (Follow your doctor’s recommendation about how much water to take.)
  • Consider the effects of the medicines that you take
  • Change your liquid food or your feeding schedule
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If you are constipated, are dehydrated, or have diarrhoea often, tell your doctor so that you can work together to find a solution. If you ever have serious constipation, diarrhoea, or dehydration, tell your doctor right away.

Problem Possible cause Action
Your feeding tube is clogged. You may not be using enough water when you flush your tube. You may not be flushing your feeding tube often enough. Use a syringe filled with warm water to flush your tube. Gently massage your tube to help remove the clog. If massaging does not remove the clog, call your doctor.
You accidentally removed your feeding tube. Your balloon lost air, or your tube got caught on something. Immediately call your doctor and go to the hospital emergency room. Take your feeding tube with you.
Fluid is leaking around your tube. Your tube pulled away from your abdomen wall, or your stoma got bigger.  Call your doctor.
The area around your stoma is red or painful. You could be having an allergic reaction to your tube, or your stomach contents may be leaking.

Note: You may have an infection or may be getting one.
Clean the stoma site according to your doctor’s instructions, watch your symptoms closely, and call your doctor.
The length of the feeding tube changed. Your tube or bolster may have moved out of position. Call your doctor. Your doctor may recommend that you stop feeding, tape the tube to your skin, and come in to your doctor’s office for a replacement feeding tube.

 

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Tell your doctor or another healthcare professional immediately if you have any of these problems:

  • Choking or trouble breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness or dehydration
  • A fever
  • Blood around your feeding tube
  • Bad-smelling liquid that is draining from your stoma
  • Leakage of liquid food around your feeding tube or your stoma
  • Frequent clogging of your feeding tube
  • Weight loss or gain of more than 1 kilogram, or 2.2 pounds, per week