Blue food coloring in tubefeeding

  1. 0
    For many years blue food coloring has been used around KC, and I'm sure many other places as well. Personally, I have never thought it was very realiable.

    What are you doing in your facility? What ways are you checking to make sure the tube is in the stomach and remains there while you are giving feedings and/or meds?


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  2. 11 Comments...

  3. 0
    Hi, we also use blue food dye to check for aspiration. we check placement by auscultation with head to toe assessment and the position is also verified on am CXR (this is in ICU)We also check aspirates q4h to ensure that the patient is tolerating feeds (if>150ml we stop feeds times 4h then recheck etc). Just yesterday we suctioned someone for aqua secretions which gave us an eraly warning that he was aspirating his feeds.
  4. 0
    We check placement every time we give meds down the tube and every four hours. We however do not use the blue dye anymore due to some cases here in the US in which the dye was suspect in some deaths and has been shown to increase the risk of infection. I cannot remember the research off hand but I know nursing and the docs agree with the new policy
  5. 0
    GPIP from Detroit, I am VERY interested about the data on pt's with problems with the blue tubefeeds and increased infections. Please try to locate "Where the study was from" and post a reply, We use it all the time!.........Thanks, imaRN
  6. 0
    I've never heard of this blue dye used in feeding tubes. Maybe it's a good thing that I didn't? How was it used? Just curious...
  7. 1
    Blue Food Coloring is used to tint the tubefeeds, so if you suction blue out of a patient, say from :ET tube, Trach, nares, see it leaking out of surgical incisions (you might be suprised)then you know exactly "where" it is coming from and "what" it is. Ps.. it does turn stool Green!! imaRN
    Hygiene Queen likes this.
  8. 0
    Just to let each of you know how much I apprecate your comments. Hope they keep coming.

    FLO(from the land of OZ)...judy
  9. 0
    our facility uses blue food coloring. All I can say is that I LOVE it when it gets on your hands and clothes.
  10. 0
    Originally posted by moonshadeau:
    <STRONG>our facility uses blue food coloring. All I can say is that I LOVE it when it gets on your hands and clothes. </STRONG>
    That is the other reason to not use the dye. It gets all over the place and you end up chasing something that is not true. Alittle blue here and alittle blue there. You end up not feeding the patient, calling the doctor, getting a chest x-ray, assuming aspiration, bowel leakage, etc. One spill and everything gets messy. The more you clean it up the more it seems to spread.

    We don't use it. We check for position and residual q 4 hours and prior to medication introduction. In addition, if there is suspect of leakage, one can introduce a dye to confirm or assess, however, this is only available if it is not routinely used.
  11. 0
    Yes, I forgot it is one of the messest things to use. It is almost permanent on your hands. It is on clothes and any other cloth items; not to mention the floor.


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