(1) One method is to aspirate with a syringe. Fit the syringe tip snugly into
the end of the tube. Aspirate slowly and observe the barrel of the syringe for gastric
(2) Another method is to place a stethoscope over the epigastric area and
inject 5 ml of air into the tube. Air can be detected by a whooshing sound entering the
stomach rather than the bronchus.
(3) Test to make sure the tube is not in the trachea. As the patient exhales,
immerse the end of the tube momentarily in water. No bubbles should appear. If they
do appear on exhalation, pinch off and remove the tube immediately.
(4) If it is certain that the tube is in the stomach but no secretions have been
aspirated, wait a minute or so. Encourage the patient to relax. Try aspiration again.
The tube sometimes becomes kinked or momentarily plugged with mucus or a food
i. Following successful aspiration, clamp the tube until you are ready to begin
the procedure for which the tube was inserted.
j. Tape tube in place at nostril, using strips of hypoallergenic tape. Split one 3-
inch length of tape halfway down its length. Wrap one split end around the tube at the
nostril entry point. Center the tube in the nostril to prevent pressure on either side.
With the two free ends, anchor the tube to the bridge of the nose.
k. Report the completion of the procedure to the professional nurse, and record
the procedure on the nursing notes.
1-29. TUBE REMOVAL
Nasogastric tubes must be removed quickly and smoothly to prevent choking or
a. Clamp or pinch off the tube.
b. Remove tape or safety pins securing the tube.
c. Hold some tissues at the patient's nose, and withdraw the tube quickly and
smoothly, catching the end in the tissues as it emerges from the nose.
d. Immediately after removal of the tube, encourage the patient to gently blow
e. Assist the patient to rinse his mouth and wash his face.
f. Change any soiled bedding or pajamas. Position the patient for comfort.