Your physician will choose the type and diameter of nasogastric (NG) tube that will best suit your needs, that include lavage, aspiration, enteral therapy, or stomach decompression. The different types of tubes are the Levin, Salem sump, and Moss.
Levin tube: The Levin tube is a rubber or plastic tube that has a single lumen, a length of 42" to 50" (106.5 to 127cm), and holes at the tip and along the side.
Salem sump tube: The salem sump tube is a double lumen tube (one for suction and drainage and a smaller one for ventilation) made of clear plastic and has a blue sump port (pigtail) that allows atmospheric air to enter the patient's stomach. Thus, the tube floats freely and doesn't adhere to or damage gastric mucosa. The larger port of this 48" (121.9 cm) tube serves as the main suction conduit. The tube has openings at 17 3/4" (45cm), 21 5/8" (55cm), 25 5/8" (65cm), and 29 1/2" (75cm) as well as a raiopaque line to verify placement.
Moss tube: The Moss tube (usually inserted during surgery) has a radiopaque tip and three lumens. The first, positioned and inflated in the cardia, serves as a ballon inflation port. The second is an esophageal aspiration port. The third is a duodenal feeding port.
Information for Healthcare Professionals
Nasogastric Tube Care
Providing effective nasogastric (NG) tube care requires meticulous monitoring of the patient and the equipment. Monitoring patient involves checking drianage from the NG tube and assessing GI function. Monitoring the equipment invloves verifying correct tube placement and irrigating the tube to ensure patency and to prevent mucosal damage.
Specific care varies only slightly for the most commonly used NG tubes: the single-lumen Levin tube and the double-salem tube.
Nasogastric Tube Insertion and Removal
Usually inserted to decompress the stomach, an NG tube can prevent vomiting after major surgery. It's typically in place for 48 to 72 hours after surgery, by which time peristalsis usually resumes. It may remain in place for shorter or longer peroids, however, depending on its use.
The NG tube has other diagnostic and therapeutic application, especially in assessing and treating upper GI bleeding, collecting gastric contents for analysis, perforing gastric secretions, and administering medications and nutrients.
Inserting an NG tube requires close observation of the patient and verification of the proper placement. Removing the tube requires careful handling to prevent injury or aspiration. The tube must be inserted with extra care in a pregnant patient and in one with an increased risk of complications. For example, the physician will order an NG tube for a patient with aortic aneurysm, gsatric hemorrhage, or esophageal varices only if he believes that the benefits outweigh the risks of intubation.
Most NG tubes have a radiopaque marker or strip at the distal end so that the tube's position can't be confirmed, the physician may order fluoroscopy to verify placement.
Note: The information above is just is only for informational purposes only and is just a general reference guide. If you have an emergency call 911 directly or speak with your doctor immediately.
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