My 17 month old got an n/g tube a week ago, so tje whole thing is still new.
How often do people replace the tube and switch sides?
The valve that connects to the pump is already loose and it doesn't even stay closed with tape. Any suggestions?
Replace whenever it needs it. I know some parents who have to replace theirs daily (do to the child pulling them out). Some replace them every week. Most hospitals usually change them every 72 hours in the PICU, longer in the NICU. I would suggest calling the GI nurse and asking what your doc recommends.
How long are they anticipating using the tube for?
The nurse told me, they keep them in for awhile, but I called the supply company and they said insurance will cover 1 per week, so that gives me a better guide. At this point, we have no idea how long he will need the tube. At least a few months.
Please call your doctor's office for further instruction. It sounds like there wasn't much information shared about care and maintenance of the NG tube. Also--read the packaging. The NG tubes I am familiar with say that they can be left in place for 30 days (it is printed in small letters on the front of the package they come in).