QUERY PEG FEEDING: Terry had a PEG tube... - PSP Association

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terryswife profile image
13 Replies

Terry had a PEG tube fitted two weeks ago - spent 7 days in hospital- 3 of them on fluids only for hydration before the feed regime was commenced. I am now tasked with administering the feed plus 11 medications. My problem is the syringes issued for use: they 'stick' after being used several times during the day and I find them extremely difficult to loosen (have a touch of arthritis in my hands). Have been issued with one per week - has anyone else encountered the same problem and found a solution?

I understand that due to EU regulations there is at present only one manufacturer supplying the ENfit syringes to the nhs

13 Replies
NannaB profile image

I found this a problem towards the end of the week but with all the medication you have to give, I probably wasn’t using them so much. I expect you are washing them well after use, letting them dry thoughly and storing the tube and the plunger separately. Do you have a pump? We had one which I used if time was a factor and when the syringes needed changing too often. You could then administer the medication by syringe but not the feed which would be slowly pumped through. If you are in the U.K. ask your HENS. Using the pump in a back pack, we could also go out without worrying about feeding and indoors the feed was in a bottle upside down on a stand dripping through.

Tell the HENS about your arthritis. They may make an exception.

The annoying thing was, just before my husband died we had a months supply of feed and syringes delivered. When he died all the feed had to be tipped down the drain and the syringes thrown away. I was told nothing obtained on prescription can be used for anyone else. What a disgraceful waste.

Best wishes


terryswife profile image
terryswife in reply to NannaB

Thanks for the advice NannaB. Yes We were issued with a pump for the feed but the meds and all the necessary flushes between each dose means that the syringe is used about thirty times a day - they really are rubbish! The PEG nurse told me there is no alternative to using these particular syringes.

Kevin_1 profile image

I have little experience of PEGS, but I have used PEG syringes for other means.

If after washing it you give it a very light oiling with vegetable oil you might find it improves. Just enough to coat the plastic. I would apply it to the plunger ring and then push it in and pull it out to coat the cylinder.

Finally - Do check with a medic - This is a cooks solution to the issue not a clinical one.

Best to you


Javan profile image
Javan in reply to Kevin_1

Contact Nutricia (08452501032) and explain your situation, they are very helpful. You can also speak to your diatician. All this information is in the booklets you should have been issued with prior to discharge. Hope this helps.

terryswife profile image
terryswife in reply to Javan

Thankyou - The Nutricia nurse knows of the problem and like I replied to NannaB has told me that until the nhs find another manufacturer we have no alternative but to use these syringes.

terryswife profile image
terryswife in reply to Kevin_1

Thanks Kevin worth a try!

S7arum7 profile image

We had this problem. I spoke to the dietician who organises the supplies and she arranged for me to have two syringes a week i.e. 8 a month instead of 4. Not perfect but much better. I also used to give water as a bolus without using the plunger. Good luck.


terryswife profile image
terryswife in reply to S7arum7


ketchupman profile image

Our medical supply provider (at first through our insurance company and later through hospice) provided a couple different versions. Some worked better than others at times, but never consistent. They were hard for me to use, and I was a healthy 55 year old man. I can imagine how hard it is for someone older with arthritis. I like Kevin’s recommendation of lubricating it with cooking oil. And after my wife passed, hospice gladly took all the unused supplies and feed and redeployed them, as long as they were unopened. I think I may have even purchased some on my own on Amazon, I can’t recall.


terryswife profile image
terryswife in reply to ketchupman

Thanks for replies - strained my wrist Saturday trying to use syringe - so had to resort to taking out plunger and administering medicines and water flushes by using the bolus method. The dietitian was contacted on my behalf by another health professional yesterday who had called in to see Terry and had tried herself to use the syringe and observed the difficulty. Got a call back today - they have altered prescription from 4 per month to 28!

ketchupman profile image
ketchupman in reply to terryswife


Suebatt profile image

Hi terriswife

Archie is on pump and a lot of medication we get everything from the Fresenius nurses

You maybe need to contact the dietican and tell her you haven’t enough syringes.they supply 10 60mls and 44 20mls to us the problem the carers have is the numbers come off easy.

Hope you get sorted

Sue x

terryswife profile image
terryswife in reply to Suebatt

Thanks - have spoken to dietitian who assures me that I will be supplied with 28 single use syringes per month in future


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