How to insert a nasogastric tube and check gastric position at the bedside
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How to insert a nasogastric tube and check gastric position at the bedside

Carolyn Best Nutrition nurse specialist, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Winchester, England

Rationale and key points

A nasogastric tube (NG tube) can be used to aspirate stomach contents or to administer feed, medication or fluid into the stomach.

A blind technique is used to insert the NG tube through the nostril, along the nasopharynx, through the oesophagus and into the stomach.

It is important for nurses to be able to recognise problems that may arise when inserting a NG tube blindly, and to know what actions to take if it is suspected that the distal tip of the NG tube is not sitting in the stomach, or they are unable to identify its location.

Misplacement and subsequent use of a NG tube to administer feed, medication or fluid is a ‘never event’ (NHS England Patient Safety Domain 2015).

Reflective activity

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Nursing Standard. 30, 38,36-40. doi: 10.7748/ns.30.38.36.s43

Correspondence

carolyn.best@hhft.nhs.uk

Peer review

All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Received: 11 February 2016

Accepted: 02 March 2016