nasogastric tube

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A nasogastric tube is a fine or narrow bore tube passed into the stomach via the nose.

It is used for short or medium term nutritional support, and is the most common route used in tube feeding. It is also used to decompress patients with intestinal obstruction.

The bore of the tube is dictated by the need to aspirate or drain the contents of the stomach, as would be the situation in the critically ill or after surgery.

A wide bore tube is used if drainage is needed, for example, a gauge greater than or equal to 10. Otherwise, a finer bore tube is used.

Last reviewed 01/2018