Resources - PEG info/care

Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy AKA PEG

Medically broken down as;

•Percutaneous – meaning something is inserted through the skin

Endoscopic – the instrument used to place the PEG tube is called an endoscope

Gastrostomy – means an opening into the stomach

Below,  are some tips and advice on how to look after the PEG to prevent infection and useful bits of information that we wish we knew. 

When you or a loved one has a PEG tube it can be life changing and hard to adapt to. Don't worry, it does get easier! Mum solely took on the responsibility of managing Gavin's PEG and feed and done amazingly. It may seem daunting but there's alot of advice and information available to help you through. Before discharge You and/or your family or carer will be given training and information on setting up feeds, PEG care and who to contact if you need advice.

*Always wash your hands before touching the PEG site. 

* Clean around the PEG tube site once daily for the first 10 days with sterile water and sterile gauze. After this time, clean with mild soapy water and dry well. Mum used to check Gavin's PEG site daily, every morning, every change or roll and before bed, doing this became second nature and part of the routine and if any infection did start it was quickly dealt with because if how regularly it was checked. Mum felt she had to be this thorough because Gavin wasn't in a position to be able to verbally tell us if something was bothering him.  

* Rotate the tube daily. This prevents the internal bumper inside becoming buried. Only do this 10 days after the procedure.

*If the insertion site is painful or red the nurse or the GP will take a swab to check for infection.

* Leave the feeding line clamp open when the PEG is not being used for feeding, as this will prevent flattening of the tube.

*The feeding tube should be flushed with at least 30mls of water before and after feed or medicine administration. This will prevent the tube from blocking.

*  If the PEG tube becomes blocked, warm water may be used to un-block it. Use a purple 60ml syringe and connect it onto the PEG tube. Use a continuous ‘pushpull’ action to slowly dislodge the blockage. This may take some time. If you're concerned you can contact your district nurse team, GP or call 111 for advice. 

*If your PEG needs replacing, your GP may refer you to the hospital to be seen by the Gastroenterologist and the Nutrition Nurse. They will review the PEG and decide if it needs changing. If you no longer need your PEG your GP will refer you to the Gastroenterologist to remove it.

Useful contacts to have: 

- Community Dietician 

- District Nurse 

- Gastro Ward/Hospital Details 

- Hospital Nutrition Nurse 

- To note - when at home you will need to order the feed. This is also a good contact number to have. We had all contacts laminated and visible in Gavin's room so it was easily accessible for all in case anyone needed it. This saves routing through paperwork or searching online and savez alot of time. 

Stock Take/Logs and Routine 

Keep a log on what stock you have. You will find that you're constantly ordering meds, feed, buying things such as wipes, pads, shower gel, etc 

It becomes alot easier if you build stock take into your routine and do these things regularly. You will quickly get an idea of how much you need each week and how often you need to order and when, but it is always useful to keep a stock take, regardless. 

Mum unfortunately fell ill herself and had to go into hospital, luckily she had done so much and prepared everything in the event that should anything like that happen, we had access to everything, even a breakdown of what Gavin's day consisted of along with times etc.