Using a Gravity Feeding Bag

Using a Gravity Feeding Bag


Start by calculating the number of drops
per minute of formula to give during the feeding this is called the drip rate. Locate the number of drops in each milliliter of fluid for the gravity bag
you use. This number appears on the gravity bag package. Next find the rate for the feeding that was ordered by the healthcare provider. This rate appears as milliliters per hour. If a rate has not been prescribed click here to use this math worksheet to calculate the rate using the dose and time. Next, multiply the rate by the number of drops per milliliter. Divide this number by 60 to determine the
number of drops per minute to flow through the drip chamber. This is the drip rate. To use the gravity feeding bag, first wash your hands. Clean your work surface with soap and water or a disinfecting wipe. Cover your work surface with a clean cloth or towel. Assemble the supplies you need for the
gravity feeding: a gravity feeding bag IV A gravity feeding bag, IV IV pole, non-sterile gloves, formula, a clean container such as a measuring cup for the formula, another clean container with a type of water recommended for flushing the tube, and a small syringe. For feedings through a nasal or oral feeding tube, you also need pH strips, measuring tape and a stethoscope. You need these to check the tube placement. Put on the non-sterile gloves. Measure the amount of formula you need for one feeding into a clean measuring
container. If you’re using a nasal or oral feeding tube check the tube placement. For a refresher on how to check the placement of an NG tube, click here to watch the video. If using a low profile feeding tube, attach the feeding extension to the patient’s feeding tube. Flush the feeding tube with the
prescribed amount of water. Close the roller clamp on the gravity
feeding bag tubing. Pour the formula into the gravity feeding bag. Hang the gravity feeding bag from the
IV pole. Adjust the height so the bottom of the bag is at least 24 inches higher than the patient’s stomach. Place the end of the feeding bag tubing into the measuring cup. Slowly open the roller clamp to allow formula to run through the gravity feeding bag tubing. When the formula reaches the end of the tubing, close the roller clamp. This process removes air from the tubing. Connect the gravity feeding bag tubing to the feeding tube or extension. Open any clamps on the feeding tube or extension. Slowly open the roller clamp on the gravity bag tubing. Count the number of drops of formula falling through the drip chamber during one minute. Adjust the roller clamp until drops falling through the chamber each minute equal the drops per minute you calculated. Always check the number of drops per minute several times during the feeding. You must also check the drops per minute if the position of the gravity bag or the
patient changes. When the feeding is complete close the roller clamp. Close any clamps on the feeding tube or
extension. Disconnect the gravity bag from the feeding tube or extension. Flush the feeding tube as directed by your healthcare provider. If you’re using a low profile feeding
tube, disconnect the extension from the feeding tube. Close the cap on the
feeding tube.

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