The nasogastric tube moves through the nose into the buccal cavity to the throat where it routes to the stomach. Another major use for the nasogastric tube is to provide the patient with medicines that the patient could not take otherwise.
Nasogastric tubes come in various standard depths that are marked on the tubes. The healthcare must measure the distance from the patient’s nose to the location of the xyphoid process. Gastric tubes are marked at the measured length before insertion to ensure adequate reach without any danger of clogging due to excess tube length. Before insertion, it is common to lubricate the gastric tube at the insertion end using local anesthetics such as 2% xylocaine gel. Other than local anesthetics, nasal vasoconstrictor sprays may be used as well. The nasogastric tube is then inserted into one of the patient’s anterior nares.
Care has to be exercised when guiding the tube through the patient’s nasal cavity into the throat region. The tube is directed downwards and backwards as it is inserted. If a patient is wake during the insertion process, they may gag as the gastric tube reaches the oropharynx and then enters the posterior pharyngeal wall. In such a case, the patient is asked to mimic swallowing or is provided with some water to sip. As the patient imitates swallowing, the tube is inserted further. As soon as the tube moves beyond the pharynx and into the esophagus, it slides easily down into the patient’s stomach. ...Show more