Checking For Residual

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Please use for reference only.

Penn Home Infusion Team
University of Pennsylvania Health System
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Before starting your feeding, your doctor may want you to check for fluid that is left in the stomach from the last feeding. This is called residual fluid. You should check the residual before each feeding.

You will need the following supplies:

  • (1) 60 cc syringe
  • (1) Clean cup

Procedure for Checking Residual

  1. Wash your hands. (See Handwashing section for more information)
  2. Clamp the tube and open the cap.
  3. Attach a syringe to the feeding tube
  4. Unclamp the feeding tube.
  5. Pull back on the syringe. When you do this you may see some of the stomach fluid in the syringe.
  6. Pull back gently until you don't get any more fluid from the stomach.
  7. If a full syringe comes back, clamp the tube and empty the syringe into a clean cup. Keep repeating until no more fluid is pulled back into the syringe.
  8. Draw the fluid from the cup back into the syringe, and gently push the fluid back through the tube into the stomach. This is very important because the stomach fluid has important fluids in it that your body needs.
  9. Flush your tube with warm tap water after checking the residual. (See the Flushing Your Tube section for more information.)
  10. If you have collected more than _____ of stomach fluid, DO NOT start your feeding. Wait one hour, and check the residual again.
  11. If you still have more than _____ of stomach fluid, DO NOT give your feeding and call your physician.


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