Feeding tube residual

  1. Are you suppose to check for residual prior to administering tube feedings or giving meds through the tube? I'm new to LTC, and I'm not seeing my mentors check for residual. I'm trying to get my hands on the facility's protocol. But until then, can someone give me some direction or a sample protocol?
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    About mharrah

    Joined: Nov '05; Posts: 63; Likes: 7
    Wellness Coach, Aesthetic Nurse
    Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience in Gyn, dermatology, aesthetics, wellness


  3. by   meadow85
    You should really check your policy manual. At my workplace we check for residuals q4h. If it is less than 250 cc then you return it. If it is greater than 250 cc you return the 250 cc and discard the rest, turn off the feeds and re-assess in an hour.
  4. by   CountryGirlRN
    Always check for residuals before putting anything down the tube. Our pts on tube feeds have different protocols, but the most common one is to hold TF if the residual is greater than 150ml. I don't hold the meds, though, just the TF.
  5. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from MHarrah
    I'm new to LTC, and I'm not seeing my mentors check for residual.
    Some nurses don't check for residual because they are taking a shortcut to save time. They'd rather plunge the medications and fluids in and simply move on to the next resident.

    At a previous workplace, we were supposed to check residual before putting anything into the tube. If the residual was greater that 150mL, we were to put the contents back into the stomach, turn off the feeding (if it is a pump), and notify the attending physician to see how he/she would like to proceed.
  6. by   caliotter3
    And in some instances the doctor will have written an order covering checking for residuals and holding tube feeds. If there is no order in place, then follow the facility protocol.