Challenge 15

Nasogastric Tube (NGT) Placement and Verification

A nasogastric or NG tube is a plastic tubing device that allows delivery of nutrition directly into the stomach (feeding), or removal of stomach contents (drainage). It is passed via the nose into the oropharynx and upper gastrointestinal tract. Many times these tubes can be malpositioned, leading to significant harm and even death. The National Health Service Improvement (NHSI) in the United Kingdom has placed this type of incident on their “never events” list; never events are “errors in medical care that are identifiable, preventable, and serious in their consequences for patients, and that indicate a real problem in the safety and credibility of a health care facility.” (National Quality Forum)

Executive summary checklist

A nasogastric tube (NGT) is a tube inserted into a patient’s nose and down into their stomach to drain stomach contents or to give nutrition (feeding), fluids, and medicine. The person inserting the tube uses blind placement, which means they don’t know where the tube is going in the patient’s
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