By: Kevin Cleary
Healthy living has become synonymous with healthy eating. The social media, print media, health journals are all full of the super foods we should eat for maintaining good health. It is all doable as long as we have the ability to orally ingest, chew and digest all those nutritious foods. What happens if we can't do that ? We often times take for granted our body’s ability to intake food and nutrients. Many times due to a health issues such as a spinal cord injury, stroke, or some other type of trauma or disease, we may not be able to swallow properly or safely to ingest food and nutrients. When this happens we need to find a suitable substitute for administering vital proteins, vitamins, and other nutrients. This is where the Kimberly-Clark Gastrostomy Feeding Tube enters the equation. It allows a caretaker or patient to administer vital nourishment the body needs.
Need for a Feeding Tube
A feeding tube allows important nutrition to be administered directly to the stomach via a procedure called a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy or a PEG. Depending on your individual case, you may still be encouraged to ingest orally, but that needs to come from your doctor. The Kimberly-Clark Gastrostomy Feeding Tube makes administering nutrition as well as medication overtly obvious with different labeled ports.
The Anatomy of a Feeding Tube
As with anything, being able to properly use something can only benefit and make things easier by understanding its parts and how it works. The Kimberly-Clark Gastrostomy Feeding Tube is no different. Some of its specifications include:
- Medical grade silicone construction
- 3 clearly marked ports (balloon, feeding, and medication ports)
- Internal retention balloon and external retention ring
- Recessed and tapered distal tip with dual exit port
- 9 ½ inch length
These specifications make this an easy to use feeding tube as well as increasing patient comfort during insertion. The ventilated external ring allows air to circulate around the stoma site with 360° pressure relief in addition to holding the feeding tube itself. This unique design allows for less irritation of the gastric wall as well as minimizing erosion. The retention balloon safely and securely holds the feeding tube in the stomach and incorporates an anti-reflux valve to prevent food from leaking out of the stomach when not in use. These feeding tubes are available in a variety of tip sizes and are color-coded accordingly. This is not a one-size-fits-all apparatus; each patient’s needs are different and specific to their own case. This way comfort and ease of use are maximized. Below is the size chart and color code:
Preventive Maintenance for Longevity
Even though the Kimberly-Clark Gastrostomy Feeding Tube is simple to use, regular daily cleaning can prolong the use of each tube and therefore make it more economical. Obviously, care to keep the skin around the tube and stoma site clean are critical to minimizing the risk of infection. Bacteria and germs are your enemies!! A wash in warm soapy water followed by a simple rinse and air dry is all that is necessary to keep the assembly clean and functioning. Care should be taken to clean the anti-reflux valve in order to keep it operating properly. Cleaning the extension set is simple just using a cotton-tipped applicator immediately after each use. Not only will keeping the gastrostomy feeding tube clean from bacteria avoid serious medical issues down the road, it can minimize replacement and cost.
Whatever the reason for a feeding tube, The Kimberly-Clark Gastrostomy Feeding Tube is an easy to use and simple to maintain option. With its snug for, the need to minimize activity is diminished and your doctor will work with you to precisely fit the apparatus to your specific needs. Quality of life and peace of mind have never been simpler.