Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
(603) 742-5252
Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+) font size
Physicians
Site Search

Feeding tube
Feeding tube


Alternative Names:

Gavage tube - infants; OG - infants; NG - infants



Information:

A feeding tube is a small, soft, plastic tube placed through the nose (NG) or mouth (OG) into the stomach. These tubes are used to provide feedings and medications into the stomach until the baby can take food by mouth.

WHY IS A FEEDING TUBE USED?

Feeding from the breast or bottle requires strength and coordination. Sick or premature babies may not have the strength, development, or coordination to bottle or breastfeed . Tube (gavage) feedings allow the baby to get some or all of their feeding into the stomach, which is the most efficient and safest way to provide good nutrition. Oral medications can also be given through the tube.

HOW IS A FEEDING TUBE PLACED?

A feeding tube is gently placed through the nose or mouth into the stomach. It is usually taped in place. An x-ray can confirm correct placement. In babies with feeding problems, the tip of the tube may be placed past the stomach into the small intestine to provide slower, continuous feeds.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF A FEEDING TUBE?

Feeding tubes are generally very safe and effective. However, even if it is placed gently, a feeding tube can irritate the nose, mouth, or stomach and cause some (usually minor) bleeding. If placed in the nose, it may cause some nasal stuffiness and occasionally a nasal infection. If the tube gets misplaced and is not in the proper position, the baby may have problems with:

  • An abnormally slow heart rate (bradycardia)
  • Breathing
  • Spitting up

Rarely, the feeding tube can puncture the stomach.




Review Date: 6/18/2008
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com


Find What You Need

Events
Careers
Foundation
About Us
Contact
Directions
News
Social Media Agreement
Joint Notice
Web Privacy Policy
WDH Staff Portal

Centers & Services

Cancer Center
Cardiovascular Care
Joint Replacement
Women & Children's
Physician Offices
Other Services

Conditions & Treatments

Health Library

Support Services

Support Groups
Care-Van
Dental Center
Social Work
Food & Nutrition
Integrative Wellness
Spiritual Care
Concerns & Grievances
Homecare and Hospice

For Patients

Pay Your Bill Online
Pricing Estimates
Financial Assistance
Interpreter Services
Surgery Preparation
Medical Record Request
Advance Directives
Clinical Research & Trials

For Healthcare Professionals

Work and Life
Financial Well-Being
Career and Growth

The Wentworth-Douglass Health System includes:

 

Address

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
789 Central Avenue, Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 742-5252
Toll free: 1 (877) 201-7100