The nurse is caring for a comatose client with a Salem sump tube. Which action by the nurse is correct regarding care of this client?

  • clamp the air vent during tube feedings
  • place the client on the left side in a high-Fowler’s position
  • assess the position of the Salem sump before each feeding
  • infuse bolus feedings with a pump or by gently plunging into the stomach
Number 3 is correct.
The Salem sump’s position should be checked before each feeding by aspirating gastric content and measuring pH (should be 3.5 or less). Administering feedings through an improperly positioned tube may cause aspiration. The air vent should not be clamped and should be kept above stomach level. The comatose client should be placed on the right side in the high-Fowler’s position. Bolus feedings should be infused via a pump or allowed to flow by gravity. Feedings should never be forcibly plunged into the client.