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Venting, residuals and cleaning equipment

Venting the G-tube

Venting, sometimes called “burping through the G-tube,” lets your child’s stomach get rid of extra air or food. Venting can be done before, during or after feedings, or at anytime your child is showing signs of discomfort.

Steps:

  1. Put a 60 mL syringe without the plunger into the G-tube. Hold the syringe up and unclamp the G-tube.
  2. After unclamping the G-tube you may hear air or see food or stomach juices rise up in the syringe.
  3. Allow venting for 1-2 minutes.
  4. After all food and stomach juices have gone back down the G-tube, clamp the tube and remove the syringe. Sometimes the stomach juices may not go back down. You can use the plunger to gently push the stomach juices back down.

Do not throw away stomach contents unless you are told to do so by your child’s doctor or nurse.

If your child’s stomach contents overflow, put the juices in another container. Refeed the juices when your child is calm. These juices have important body salts called electrolytes. They may also have medicines that were given earlier.

Note: When a child has a hard time with their feedings for a period of time or has had a Fundoplication procedure done, the stomach may be smaller in size. Venting is usually needed if your child had a Fundoplication procedure.

To keep your child comfortable, be sure you are careful to:

  • Measure the correct amount of formula
  • Control the rate of the feeding

If your child is not tolerating a feeding due to vomiting, gagging or retching, crying or crabbiness, or abdominal swelling, vent the G-tube.

Checking G-tube residuals

Checking the residual will let you know how much formula from the last feeding is still in the stomach. This should only be done if ordered by the doctor.

Steps:

  1. Place a 60 mL syringe without a plunger into the G-tube.
  2. Lower the syringe off to the side, below your child’s stomach level. Put the open end of the syringe into a cup.
  3. Watch as the stomach contents flow out of the G-tube and into the cup. When the flow stops, measure the fluid. You may use a measuring cup to collect the fluid. When you read the measuring cup, hold the cup at your eye level as you read the amount inside. The amount of this reading is the residual.

Bolus feedings

  • If the residual amount is less than half of your child’s last feeding, return the stomach contents and begin your child’s feeding at the ordered amount.
  • If more than half of your child’s last feeding (bolus), stop the feeding and wait 30 minutes. Recheck the residual before feeding.

Continuous drip

  • If the residual amount is less than one hour’s rate, return the stomach contents and begin your child’s feeding at the hourly rate
  • If more than one hour’s rate is present, stop the feeding and wait 30 minutes. Recheck the residual before feeding.

Call your child’s doctor if large residuals seem to happen often.

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