Thursday, January 4, 2024

caring for a patient who has a nasogastric tube - gastric lavage

Nasogastric Tube:

Caring for a patient with a nasogastric (NG) tube is a crucial task that requires attentiveness and proper technique to ensure their comfort and safety. Here's a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the process:

1. Understanding NG Tubes:

An NG tube is a thin, flexible tube inserted through the nose or mouth and down into the stomach. It's used for various purposes, including:
  • Feeding: Providing nutrition and fluids to patients who are unable to eat or drink adequately.
  • Decompression: Relieving pressure or gas buildup in the stomach.
  • Drainage: Removing stomach contents, such as vomit or blood.
  • Medication administration: Delivering certain medications directly into the stomach.

- Types of NG tubes:

  • Single-lumen tube: Has one channel for feeding, drainage, or medication administration.
  • Double-lumen tube: Has two channels, one for feeding and the other for drainage or medication administration.
  • Triple-lumen tube: Has three channels, one for feeding, one for drainage, and one for medication administration.

2. NG Tube Care:

  • Hand hygiene: Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after handling the NG tube or any equipment related to it.

- Tube placement:

  • Securing the tube: Ensure the NG tube is securely taped to the patient's cheek using medical tape or a stabilization device.
  • Checking placement: Verify the tube's position in the stomach regularly. This can be done by listening for air sounds when injecting air through the tube or by X-ray confirmation.

- Feeding:

  • Follow the prescribed feeding schedule and amounts.
  • Use the appropriate syringes or pumps for feeding.
  • Flush the tube with water before and after each feeding to prevent clogging.

- Skin care:

  • Prevent skin irritation around the NG tube insertion site by keeping the area clean and dry.
  • Apply barrier cream as needed to protect the skin from friction and irritation.

- Monitoring:

Observe the patient for signs of complications like tube dislodgement, infection, or feeding intolerance.
Report any concerns to the nurse or doctor immediately.

3. Additional Tips:

  • Provide oral care regularly to keep the mouth clean and moist.
  • Elevate the head of the bed at least 30 degrees to prevent reflux and aspiration.
  • Document all NG tube care activities in the patient's medical record.


  • Never attempt to insert or remove an NG tube yourself. This should only be done by a qualified healthcare professional.
  • If you notice any signs of tube dislodgement, bleeding, or infection, seek immediate medical attention.
  • By following these guidelines and staying informed, you can effectively care for a patient with an NG tube and contribute to their well-being.