1. Decompress the stomach by aspiration of gastric contents (fluid, air, blood).
  2. Introduce fluids (lavage fluid, tube feedings, activated charcoal into the stomach.
  3. Assist in the clinical diagnosis through analysis of substances found in gastric contents.

Equipment required:

  1. Nasogastric tube: Adult – 16-18F; Pediatric (add 16 to the patient’s age in years and then divide by 2)
  2. Viscous lidocaine 2% (or any oral analgesic spray)
  3. Syringe, 10 mL
  4. Glass of water with a straw
  5. Water-based lubricant
  6. Toomey syringe, 60 mL
  7. Paper tape
  8. Emesis basin (or plastic bag)
  9. Wall suction, set to low intermittent suction
  10. Suction tubing and container


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Disadvantages of NG Tube:

NG tubes often irritates the patient’s nasopharynx and may elicit gag reflex. It also increases mucus secretion and increases the chances of sinusitis. In addition, NG tube feeding can cause a medical emergency if the tube inadvertently entered into the lungs.

Confirmation of placement:

Although pH, enzyme, bilirubin, and carbon dioxide testing have been used to distinguish respiratory from gastrointestinal placement of nasogastric tubes, none of these methods has enabled detection of tube placement in the esophagus or gastroesophageal junction. Therefore, the authors recommend the routine use of x-ray verification.

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