G-tube infections

Aleah - posted on 02/18/2010 ( 13 moms have responded )

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My daughter has a bard g-tube and it was put in on Dec. 3, 2009 and so far she has gotten 2 infections and it looks like it might be getting infected again. i really dont know what I am doing wrong. I clean it twice a day with soap and water. Should I be cleaning it more? Any suggestions???

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Lynn - posted on 02/28/2010

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My daughter had a g-tube for about 3 months right after her traumatic brain injury. While we were in the rehab center one of the nurses there noticed that the area around her tube was red, sore and ozing. She suggested to me (unoffically) to use a cotton ball soaked in liquid Mylanta around that area after cleaning it and to bandage it afterwards. I did this about three times a day and no more soreness. Some stomach acids were leaking around that area causing all the trouble and pain. The Mylanta helped to nutralize the acid that was bothering the surrounding skin. This is not a medical treatment, but I know that it helped my little girl alot.

Tammi - posted on 04/13/2013

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My daughter is 6 and has had her G-tube for three years. This morning I noticed it was red, warm, and slightly swollen all around it. I immediately took her to the doctor because she is a MRSA carrier and I just didn't want to take any chances. Her pediatrician was pleased that I caught it early. She said that any time the skin around the G-tube looks this way that we should get her to the doctor so they can prescribe antibiotics. She put her on oral Bactrim and also prescribed Bactroban ointment to apply directly on affected area. I just want to tell all you moms not to take it lightly if you see changes around the G-tube. I know many home treatments may help, but it's not worth your child's life, as these seemingly small infections can turn into other serious infections such as a blood infections. Her doctor also had me draw a circle around the red, inflamed area with a sharpie so I can monitor if the infection is spreading, which would mean her body is not responding to the antibiotics. I also notice that many moms apply gauze or a dressing to the G-tube; our surgeon feels this is a big 'no-no' as the skin needs to breath and dressings can actually cause infections. I know my daughter first had a Bard button and it leaked constantly, therefore her preschool insisted we cover it with gauze. I did what they asked and as soon as she got home from school, I removed the dressing. She now has an AMT-mini button and we have seen very minimal leakage. I'm much happier with the new button. Just wanted to leave a few words of advise and encouragement. I know we all love our babies so much!

Jennie - posted on 03/01/2010

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My son is almost 4 and has had a gtube since he was 3 months old. He has had it infected many times. There was a period of a year where it was infected almost every month. I use to put gauze around it but stopped doing that about two years ago. When I stopped the gauze it actually got better, I know weird. Anyway, our doctor recommends that it's changed once a year and sometimes when it's looking bad we will use deluted hydronproxide around it with a q-tip. I would def ask the dr about some creme we have also used bactroban and it works. We haven't used anything but soap and water once a day everyday for the last year and no problems.

Jennifer - posted on 01/06/2016

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Sometimes redness isn't from infection but from irritation which is common in gtube devices. My son has had a classic gtube, MIC-key button, and Mini One button. We like the Mini One buttons the best because they are small and flexible causing less irritation but because my son's skin is so sensitive we still use 2 soft IV split sponges 2 X2 inches even with a good fitting button. With a button that was too loose we used 4 IV sponges all stacked up and taped at the split and as well we use a heavy amount of Triamcinalone 1% ointment (steriod ointment) that helps protect the skin as well skin irritated skin to keep from having granulation tissue (bubbly bleeding tissue that looks like soft scar tissue).

Our regimine that keeps all the doctors happy- they always rave how good his looks:

*Rule 1- always remove dirty iv sponges (gauze) immediately if any stomach contents, food, or water get on them top or bottom! Any of these will cause irritation and moisture issues.
*Rule 2- always wash and sanitize your hands and if you can resanitize in between touching drawer handles when getting your cleaning and redressing supplies out. Germs and bacteria lurks everywhere and you don't want that in your kids g-tube site!

* Anytime you remove the old sponges take the time to clean with Johnson and Johnson's Band-Aid Hurt Free Antiseptic Wash. I started using this to help relieve my son's pain when he has serious skin issues and have used it since. It seems to keep the irritation down and clean well. We do this even after he is bathed because you never know what kinds of things run down the skin into the gtube site! Staph for starters. Nurses and doctors may say this isn't standard but guess what- all mine have said- KEEP DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING IT LOOKS GREAT! we use clean cotton rounds that you can buy in cosmetic section we use a couple to block the cleaner from running down our son's side when we spray it on there. You could also use a sterile saline solution too if you don't want to use this all the time to clean.

*Do cleaning, dressings and ointment- 3x a day for an irriated site! Buy extra dressings from your supply company. A whole box is usually really cheap so its worth it for real!

*after cleaning pat dry with clean cotton round, apply Triamcinolone 1% ointment to the first Iv sponge and apply ointment side down around the bottom of the mickey button/gtube. Overlap edges a little to make a secure fit so it won't rub and tape together overlaped. apply additional IV sponges on top of that one to where there is very little wiggle room for the button to rub. Less friction means less irriation! :)

repeat process if you see any leakage on bottom iv sponge or if it gets dirty. It seems simple but the wash, frequency, and the ointment helps A LOT! Until you can ask your doctor for a steriod ointment it wouldn't hurt to apply a triple antibiotic ointment from the first aide section of most stores to the site to keep it from getting irritated or infected. At least that is what I would do! :) Always ask your doctor and ask for a visit to a real GI doctor- they know more tricks than your regular doctors for taking care of special issues!

Tammi - posted on 04/13/2013

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Khammala, I would suggest that you go to the pediatrician immediately. My daughter's doctors (she has many) advise that whenever you are in doubt or concerned, take the time and go see your doctor/pediatrician. It might be a wasted trip, but more often than not your mom instincts are right.

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Amanda - posted on 04/09/2013

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I used to have frequent problems with my daughters g tube but I now use Mesalt and Biatain dressings. The Mesalt is gauze with salts in it and the Biatain is a thin sponge. I clean daily with baby soap and alcohol wipes, then use a Cavillon wipe to protect her skin as her tube still leaks. You can also use a zinc cream or petroleum jelly on the skin around the tube. Keep it clean and dry and you shouldn't have any more problems. Whenever I see a lot of leakage or that the dressing is moist I just change them and it stays infection and granuation free. If you can get the Mesalt or a calcium gauze and put it around the tube with the sponge over it that should help.

Khammala - posted on 04/07/2013

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My daughter is about to be 2 years old on may 21 next month ,she had her gtube placed last year during the summer.well anyways so I had changed her gtube by myself at night wen she was asleep ,because the surgery clinic told me to change it eberu four month . but the next day she started to cry so much and ever since from that night i changed it she started to fuss every night and cries / touches her stomach . I don't know if its infected or anything . I really need help any suggestion ? How do i know if its infected ?????

Angie - posted on 02/19/2010

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my daugter has her g-tube since she was 6 months old and she is now 3, we have never had an infection. we give her a bath every night or every other with baby soap and wash her like normal, then we dry her and put this skin protectant on called Pro Shield Plus with a q-tip around the area where the button goes in (this keeps the gauze and the button from irritating the skin and making it itch or become infected) and then put gauze around the button up underneath and tape the gauze together but not to the skin. the button still is able to move in a circular motion, but the skin is never red, irritated, or anything. we have only had to have the granulation tissue treated one time with the silver nitrate and that was when they first put the button in. she has never had the build up of scar tissue or any type of infection or really any redness or anything since that one time when they first put the button in. the proshield plus is something that you can get prescribed by your ped dr so you dont have to see the surgeon everytime you need to get it refilled. ask your dr about it and see what he thinks.

Amy - posted on 02/19/2010

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my son is 18 months and has had his g-tube since he was 7 days old. We never clean it. I change the dressing once a day and treat any granuation tissue with silver nitrate. He has had only 1 infection. I was not told to clean it and he is happier when i dont mess with it. Are you anchoring the dressing to eep the tube from spinning? Sometimes the spinning of the tube can irritate the tissue and allow it to become open and collect bacteria. As far as using soap and water, dry is always better thatn wet for skin breakdown. This may sound strange but you may be doing too much. Make sure it is clean and dry and that the tube can't spin and just leave it for a few days. You may be surprized.

Kelly - posted on 02/18/2010

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When my son's tube was first placed his got infected as well. We used Nystatin. I clean the site twice a day with half strength peroxide and he hasn't had a problem since. Hope this helps.

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we have been super lucky with our son's GT site...the only time he did have an issue we switched to a "mini" mic-key which is silicone. no problems since. Might be worth looking into for her next mic change.

Iridescent - posted on 02/18/2010

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We got a lot of bacterial and yeast infections in the first year. We were prescribed an ointment (Nystatin/Bactroban Cream, compounded by the pharmacist) that we put on it any time it appeared infected. It works wonders! Once you know what each thing is that you see, you'll know how to treat it better. When it's moist and yeast, we put Nystatin powder on. If it's dry and yeast or red, the cream. Otherwise, nothing. Not even gauze (as those harbor infections even though they soak up drainage). When she first got her tube going without gauze was not an option as it leaked so much, but it does go down, and as it does, back off on using it. We also just clean it with a Huggies Naturals (alcohol free) diaper wipe twice a day. Also, if the site is just dry and not infected, put vaseline on it.

Jessica - posted on 02/18/2010

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Its not your fault she gets infections. Sometimes those infections just happen, I wouldn't wash it any more than that because then the sight could get dry and irritated making it even more likely to get infected. Ask her specialist about using a daily ointment or creme. My son went through a period like that also, he had cellulitis 3 times and a pustule they discovered was from a sinus tract (not sure how that is spelled) in the space of 2 months. We began using bactroban on his site any time it started getting red and haven't had a problem since.

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