Friday, January 7, 2011

Adapting a waistpack for tube feeding purposes

Being on 24-h-tube feeds mean having to tube feed during work as well. I usually always use backpacks (various backpacks that I have adapted as tube feeding backpacks) when out and about and during the day at home as well, only during the night I use my IV pole. I just cannot see myself working as a psychologist at the hospital, wearing my white coat with my backpack on the back and my tubing sticking out.

There is a waistpack available for my pump and giving set, but my insurance doesn't pay for it, it's really expensive, and above all judging by the pics, it doesn't look like they have adapted the design since the early 90ies.

I decided to look around online and then I came across the CamelBak Flashflo 45 Oz hydration waist pack, the hydration bag can be taken out and since it's used for hydration it already has holes in the bag for tubing to go through.

I received the waistpack today, put my bag and pump in, and for the very first time did not have to do any adaptations - it was ready to go!

Here are a few photos:





I put my pump in the back and my bag into the front pouch.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your pump fits in the Camelbag so well.

Do you not have issues with orientation of the food bag and air getting in, etc?

What kind of pump do you have too please?

Thanks

Matt

Tube Girl said...

Hi Matt!

I don't have any problems with orientattion of the food bag - but I do keep it upright - my bag is 1000 ml bag - so I fold the top over once to keep it upright.
The lid seals the feeding bag really well, I don't really have any problems with air getting in. First I thought that I had to try to get all the air out of the feeding bag for it to work, but now I have realized that if I do leave a bit of air inside the bag, air bubbles that form while walking simply float on top of the formula - that means less problems with my pump.
My pump is a Fresenius Kabi Applix Vision (http://www.fresenius-kabi.com/2224.htm). It's very light weight and accurate.
Take care,
Julia

Anonymous said...

That's great, thanks for the info.

What kind of feeding cycle are you on, will you wear the Camelbag most of the day?

:)

Matt

Tube Girl said...

Hi Matt!

Check my recent blog entries for more detailled photos of the bag and pump :-).

I am on 24-hour-feedings at the moment and therefore wear my bag all day long. I use an IV pole during the night and switch over to the bag at 6.15 when I get up for a work, I never take it off at work, only sometimes in the evening when watching TV I put the bag beside me before switching back to the pole :-).

Julia

Anonymous said...

Hi Julia,

Please excuse my abnormal level of interest in how you feed and use your pump. I'm a designer at a small New Zealand company currently working on a pump like device for controlling the flow rate of the formula for people on Enteral feeding.
Your blog gives us a great insight in to what it's really like using one of these devices daily!

Thanks alot

Matt

Tube Girl said...

Hi Matt!

Glad I can be of help. A few more important things: if using an enteral pump out and about, it is very important that the pump is not overly sensitive to air bubbles! When I walk my formula "foams up" and sometimes little air bubbles do get into the line. I am really glad my pump doesn't alarm for those ones. Also, pumps should work when they are placed in any orientation.

Take care,
Julia

staceycowell said...

Hello, my name is stacey and I have a Kangroo Joey pump that I have to wear 24/7, do you think it would work for me? My backpack is causing so many back problems and gets caught on things too. :)

Thank you,
Stacey Cowell

Anonymous said...

Hi Julia

Im so chuffed to have come across your post about the camel bag! I have a severe scoliosis and Im really struggling with the backpack that fresenius have given me. I know you have said that your bag is 1000ml, but its a different bag to mine (mine comes prepackaged, all I have to do is attach the line). Can you fit 1000mls of feed into the camel bag, or are you using less feed than this - but in a 1000ml bag?

Thanks so much

Lynda :)

Tube Girl said...

Hi Lynda!

So nice to find another Fresenius user ;-) - do you have the Applix pump? I know exactly which giving sets you are talking about.
In order for the waistpack to work you will need to get the Applix duoline pumpset - see here http://www.fresenius-kabi.co.uk/internet/kabi/gb/fkintpub.nsf/Content/Product+Features+Applix+Administration+Sets (scroll down to the duoline pumpset). I still get the easy bags and simply empty them into the bag. It's perfect actually as you can take part of the giving set off and have less tubing to kink in the waistpack (during the night I hang the bag onto my IV stand and attach the rest of the tubing again).
I am now actually using a different waistpack that works even better - http://www.jack-wolfskin.co.uk/equipment/travel-accessories/neck-pouches-document-bags/8000791-swift.aspx - if you e-mail me at adventuresoftubegirl@gmail.com I can send you some pics of my current set-up.

Take care,
Julia

Anonymous said...

ooh fab, I just saw you replied! :D thank you so much. I think my chances of being allowed to decant my feed into the duo line set are next to nil... but I am seeing the dietician on the 19th so will ask her. I couldn't even get the standard rucksack without the dietician prescribing it! lol. Did you notice at the bottom of that list, it says 'applix waist belt' and 'applix mini rucksack'? There aren't any pictures, Im just wondering what they are and if they are any good..

Whatever the dietician says, Im going to have to order something to tide me over, we've just been out for a walk for a couple of hours and my back is really uncomfortable.

I'll send you an email, if you could send me some piccies that would be really fab :)

Loving your website!
Take care

Lynda

Anonymous said...

Hi, I've had my peg tube for only five weeks. My dietician said she'd order me a rucksack, but I'm kinda fed up of waiting lol. I've looked on the internet for these items but can't seem to find anything. I'm on night feeds at mo, but have been told I can feed during the day if I wish. Just wondered if you knew of any sites I could purchase from. My pump is applix smart and I'm on 500ml energy. Many thanks.

Tube Girl said...

Hi there!
The best waistpacks and backpacks for tube feeding purposes with the applix pump are from Jack Wolfskin (http://www.jack-wolfskin.co.uk/Home.aspx).
For a backpack I used the Ancona (http://www.jack-wolfskin.co.uk/Sys-4/Search-Results-4.aspx/jwlq-ancona/) - simply sewed in two carabiner hooks in to attach my mobile bag to and cut a hole on the side of the bottom part to thread the tubing through.
The waistpacks (best are swift and wallaby) http://www.jack-wolfskin.co.uk/equipment/travel-accessories/neck-pouch-and-side-pockets.aspx - don't need to be adapted at all. They don't work with the easy bags though - you will need to get the mobile bags (duoline pump set).