Checking for Residual in Peg tube


Hello everyone! I am a new student nurse on my first medsurg rotation. I have a patient who has a peg tube, cont. feeding at 70 ml/hr. I know I have to check residual Q4hrs and have read about it in my text book...but can someone pleeease tell me what it's suppose to look like? From my understanding residual is left over "feeding". If i put the syringe on the lopez valve and pull back, do I just keep pulling until....?(please fill in the blanks and describe what I should see...when do i know to stop?) Thank you so much. :twocents:

It will just look like stomach bile. Color of the stomach contents vary in color. You dont have to pull back too much just enough to see that the tube is still in the stomach.

Virgo_RN, BSN, RN

3,543 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac Telemetry, ED.

This is a very good question for your clinical instructor. This is what they are there for.

Christie RN2006

572 Posts

Specializes in SICU, EMS, Home Health, School Nursing.

For the first time you check residual, make sure your clinical instructor is there with you to help guide you!

If you are checking for tube feed residual, you need to pull back gently on the syringe until you feel resistance. If you fill your syringe, empty the syringe into a clean cup and then try to pull some more. Keep doing that until you meet resistance. Check your hospital policy to find out when you are supposed to call the doctor. One time I had a patient with a tube feeding that was going at 70ml/hr and I pulled 950ml from his stomach! Needless to say, I didn't restart the tube feed!

The residual will look different for everyone. It will most likely be near the color of the feeding you are giving. Sometimes it will be bile colored. If you pull back blood or coffee ground looking residual, you need to call the doctor right away.


105 Posts

Specializes in here and there.

Well..You stop pulling back when u meet resistance..residual is anything liquid that comes could be coffee ground( BAD) , green color ( bile), tube feeding ( check the color of the tube feed)etc. Its anything you pull back that is liquid. Then u have to decribe it depending on what it is...


2 Posts

Thank you very much for your replies! I am really excited to be in this profession! Can't wait until I get to have the chance to give such great feedback to others!!!

This topic is now closed to further replies.