G tube to gravity drainage

Posted
by Vtachy1 Member Nurse

Specializes in BNAT instructor, ICU, Hospice,triage. Has 25 years experience.

If a patient has a G-tube to gravity drainage, then nothing they drink will be absorbed correct? They will get no nutrition at all?

caroladybelle, BSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology/Haemetology/HIV. 5,486 Posts

There is some absorption from the stomach, upper GI tractor of some fluids/meds, but that would be limited.

In my experience, this is often a measure for comfort for cancer pts, that have substantial GI obstruction/malabsorbtion resulting in intractable vomiting. The tube drains whatever they drink that is not readily absorbed, and to drain excess digestive secretions that would otherwise cause wretching and vomiting. The pt can take fluids for comfort, without the accompanying vomiting.

Vtachy1

Specializes in BNAT instructor, ICU, Hospice,triage. Has 25 years experience. 446 Posts

That is precisely what is going on with this patient. How long can one sustain life at this point?

tyvin, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice / Psych / RNAC. 1,620 Posts

If someone could answer that they would be a millionaire. An experienced hospice nurse can make determinations based on the patient, the patient's disease process, activity, the existing data, etc... The hospice nurse is the one to ask.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 42 years experience. 4 Articles; 20,908 Posts

You as a nurse can kind of guesstimate that answer. Leaving the G-tube to gravity is a comfort measure when obstructions become significant...... but know that the comfort to the patient and the family are hugely beneficial that they can take and give sips and not vomit incessantlly.....is comforting...to them.......((HUGS)) to the family....

Vtachy1

Specializes in BNAT instructor, ICU, Hospice,triage. Has 25 years experience. 446 Posts

Normally I think we say 5-7 days if they aren't able to take in liquids. So he can absorb a small amount through his stomach? So this would be a bit longer then?

This sweet dearheart has not had vomiting but is obstructed with multiple tumors throughout the small intestines, ileostomy was done in March. He was pouring out around the g tube because so much pressure and obstruction, so they put in a bigger g-tube and voila, it is draining now. We did have it to wall suction. Poor fella!

Sonjailana

1 Article; 172 Posts

A couple months at best..likely less than that. We usually hydrate these pts pretty aggressively IV wise too.

evolvingrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice. 1,035 Posts

as a hospice pt we would not iv hydrate them most likely. We just had a pt with this and it was about 10 dyas . but it was such a comfort to the pt and they were so happy with the freedom it afforded them to be able drink(which they did and insane amount).

caroladybelle, BSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology/Haemetology/HIV. 5,486 Posts

I had a relatively "healthy" case that lasted for several weeks. At the time that I cared for him, virtually the only major issues that he had was the incurable ca that was growing faster than he could get it resected, and obstructing. To my understanding, he got very little IVF, but did take in quite bit of fluid that some absorbed in the upper GI. But this pt had a great deal of reserves - most do not.

I no longer make predictions as: G-d, fate, karma, mother nature- will

make a liar out of me.

Ann31

1 Post

When a patient has a G-tube to gravity drainage, do they secure the drainage bag in some way? If so, how?

KatieMI, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine. Has 9 years experience. 1 Article; 2,671 Posts

When a patient has a G-tube to gravity drainage, do they secure the drainage bag in some way? If so, how?

To the Foley bag. Reinforce connection with silk tape if there is no special connector.

To the main question - plenty of poor fellas in just the same circumstances (chronic upper GI ileus/obstruction, multiple causes, some of them perfectly curable) sit in LTAC for months just like that. They get TPN and sometimes lower-inserted j-tube and do just fine. Some graduate to chronic TPN. Hospice, of course, would be different story.