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Spotting PEG tube issues

Many individuals living in nursing homes must use percutaneous endoscopic gastronomy (PEG) feeding tubes. These devices require consistent and proper care, which if not followed can lead to dangerous health complications.

They can also be a quick signal of neglect or poor care. When you have a loved one who requires a feeding tube, it’s important that you know how to spot the signs of inappropriate care. Here are some signs of issues with a feeding tube:

  • Redness or red streaks
  • Bumpy or bubbling skin
  • Inflammation
  • Leaking pus or other discharge from the PEG site
  • Cellulitis near the PEG site
  • Unusual smell
  • Pain or sensitivity
  • Fever
  • Trouble breathing
  • Weakness
  • Bleeding
  • Rash

If you recognize the signs of a PEG tube issue, it’s important to speak up. Here are some potential results of poor PEG care and infection:

  • Inhaling the contents of the feeding tube
  • Infection
  • Gastrointestinal illness
  • Pneumonia
  • Dislodged tube
  • Blockage
  • Perforation or holes in bowels
  • Pain
  • Imbalanced electrolytes
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Bleeding
  • Medication complications

If these complications are not addressed, it can be fatal for the people with fragile health who need them. While PEG tube infections are not uncommon, they may be a signal of a larger issue in your loved one’s nursing home. Pay careful attention to the way the nurses and staff interact with you and your loved one. Look for other signs of potential nursing home abuse and neglect.

Don’t ignore red flags when they show up. Always be on the look out for neglect and abuse in nursing homes and be ready to defend your loved ones. If it’s time to step in, talk to an attorney about investigating the issue.


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