Replogle tubes are used for gastric decompression in infants with intrabdominal issues. Use an 8F Replogle tube for infants < 1500g and a 10F Replogle tube for infants > 1500g. During the acute phase of illness, Replogle tubes are usually connected to intermittent low wall suction.
The vented (colored) port or sump prevents the suction from becoming attached to the stomach mucosa. This vented port of the tube should be flushed with 1 ml of air every shift to maintain patency. This port must remain empty for it to be effective. If drainage or liquid of any type appears in the vented port, the Replogle tube should be removed and irrigated with 1 ml saline followed by 1-2 ml of air to clear it.
The clear port should be irrigated as ordered with 1-5 ml saline to maintain patency. If the tube stops draining, consider repositioning it or irrigating it. Thick gastric secretions can obstruct the tubing. If the clear tube becomes obstructed, remove the Replogle tube from the infant and flush until the obstruction is cleared and then replace tube in infant.
All gastric secretions should be measured and recorded at the end of the shift. The volume of irrigant administered should be subtracted from the total drainage out. Observe for signs of GI irritation, i.e. bloody mucous.
This information can also be found in the NICU Nursing Guidelines 40:08.01.
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