What does it mean to vent a G-tube?

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University of Michigan

The indications for a G-tube include:

  • chronic dysphagia with inability to take nutrition orally
  • any other reason for being unable to tolerate oral intake
  • GI obstruction (such as malignancy) or palliation of recurrent SBOs

One of the aspects of managing a G-tube is ventilation. There’s a lot of gas in the GI system and it needs a way to get out! If someone can’t belch or toot the gas out, they can “vent” their G-tube by opening up the end of tube. Some people refer to venting as “burping.”

To vent a G-tube, take a large syringe and put it on the end of the tube. Hold the syringe–no need to apply vacuum force! Make sure that if stomach contents or juice get aspirated out, that it’s returned. Losing too much stomach juice can lead to electrolyte abnormalities and dehydration.

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