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|Tube Feeding Tips: Black Mickey|
Special thanks to Laura Matarese, MS, RD, CNSD, Director, Nutrition Intestinal Rehabilitation, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, for answering these questions.
1) My daughter has a mickey. The last couple she has had have turned black (visible on the outside part, in the water chamber area). She has had mickeys since April of 2000, and this never happened until this fall. Her doctor says it’s just stomach acid, but we just sent the one we took out to the lab for analysis. Has anyone else encounter this?
The mickey turning black is very common, and okay. You can have it cultured if you are concerned, but more than likely it will be nothing.
How Often Should You Change a Mickey?
2) How often do most people change out their mickeys?
Most institutions/physicians do not recommend changing a mickey until there is a problem. So unless there is an issue like leaking, it is best to leave the mickey alone.
Cleaning vs. Changing Extension Tubing
3) How long do people use g-tube extension tubing, and how do you clean it?
This varies from institution to institution and from doctor to doctor. Many people care for the extension tubing as they would a "plate.” In other words, when you finish your dinner, you don’t throw the plate out, you clean it. Some institutions/physicians would recommend cleaning with water only; but most, including ours, would recommend daily cleaning with soap and water. A small bottle brush can also be used to gently scrub the inside of the tubing. When you can no longer keep the extension tubing clean, replace it with new tubing.