Rosie has a Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG). This is a feeding tube which is placed through her abdominal wall and directly into her stomach.
Rosie needs this because she has an unsafe swallow. For instance, when she swallows water she does not have enough force to thrust all of the liquid from her mouth down into her stomach. Instead some may gather at the back of her throat which can cause her to choke.
Unfortunately, she also has a weak cough, so if she does choke she’s unable to clear whatever’s gathering – it’s a dangerous combination! Hence the reason she was declared ‘nil by mouth’ when she was about 3 weeks old. You can read about her early feeding struggles HERE.
So her PEG enables us to get food and water into her body to keep her alive without the risks of her eating and drinking orally. She has had a G-Tube for 2 years and a Mini balloon button for the last 3. She has four bolus feeds a day and sometimes is fed by a feeding pump – I’ll explain these in a future post!
We have always tried to keep Rosie’s PEG site (also referred to as a stoma site) clean but at times it did become red, sore and infected. It smelt a little funky too so we had to take her to the doctors to get creams prescribed. We tried various cleaning methods using gauze and cotton buds but perhaps not with the regularity we do now!
We started a REALLY easy daily cleaning routine a year ago and have never looked back. In the last 12 months we have not had any issues and Rosie’s PEG site looks beautiful and clean all the time!
In fact, Rosie’s nurse who comes round to change her PEG every few months has been so impressed by the results that she now shares this daily routine with other families! Rosie is proud of her PEG and wanted to share a video with you of how we keep it so clean – we hope this easy method works for you too!
How to keep a PEG/stoma site clean
Equipment needed to clean a PEG
- Clean hands / surgical gloves
- Cotton wool pad
- Warm water to soak the cotton wool pad
- Clean Towel, face cloth or flannel for drying
7 steps for the best looking PEG!
- CLEAN your hands with soap and water before touching the PEG or put on some surgical gloves
- SOAK: Take a cotton wool pad and run it under warm water to thoroughly soak it
- SQUEEZE a little of the excess water out, but not all of it!
- TEAR & WRAP: From one of the cotton wool pad edges, tear half way into the middle so it allows you to wrap round the base of the PEG site
- PREP: Get a clean towel, face cloth or flannel to tuck under clothing such as the waistband of trousers to catch any drips
- LEAVE for a few minutes (we leave for 5 – 10 minutes whilst we’re taking care of other morning or bedtime routine matters)
- WIPE & DRY: Simply take the cotton pad away, wipe all around and under and use your clean towel to dry the site – job done!
How often do you need to clean a PEG /Stoma site?
For the best results, we carry out Rosie’s PEG cleaning routine every morning when she wakes up and every night before she goes to bed.
We hope you found this useful!
Disclaimer: we are not medical professionals and this is not medical advice! We’re just a family with a daughter who has a PEG and we’ve found a method that works for us. If you’re worried about anything PEG related, seek professional medical advice!)