We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Nasogastric Intubation?

By Meshell Powell
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Nasogastric intubation is a medical procedure that involves placing a tube into the stomach through the nostrils. There are several possible reasons that this procedure may need to be used, including the removal of stomach contents or the delivery of nutrients and medication. The patient is typically awake during the nasogastric intubation procedure, although a topical anesthetic may be used to reduce discomfort. Occasionally, complications such as esophageal tearing or fluid aspiration may occur as a result of the placement or removal of the tube. Questions about nasogastric intubation in individual situations should be discussed with a doctor or other qualified medical professional.

Medical situations that require the removal of stomach contents often benefit from the use of nasogastric intubation. If a person has been poisoned or is thought to have overdosed on alcohol or drugs, the contents of the stomach can be suctioned out through the use of the catheter. Medications such as activated charcoal can also be administered through the nasogastric tube to help absorb any residual traces of the toxic substance.

A person who is undergoing surgery that requires general anesthesia may be a candidate for nasogastric intubation. In these cases, the tube is usually inserted after sedation and removed before the patient awakens. A mild to moderate sore throat is usually the only physical sign that the tube was used, as there is no recollection of the procedure itself.

Those with gastrointestinal disorders that may result in breathing difficulties require nasogastric intubation. Blood, food, and excess gas can be removed from the body in this manner. Fluids and medications may also be delivered through the catheter, and patients who cannot swallow easily may receive most or all nutrients through the nasogastric tube. In some situations, the tube may be temporarily left in place after the patient returns home so that tube feeding can continue.

Serious complications arising from nasogastric intubation are relatively uncommon, although there are potential risks associated with every medical procedure. The esophagus may be torn during the placement or removal of the catheter, or the tube may be accidentally introduced into the trachea instead of the esophagus, sometimes requiring additional surgery. Excessive bleeding, infection, and inflammation are also possible. Nosebleeds, sinus problems, and electrolyte imbalances are also among the potential complications. Any new or bothersome symptoms that develop after a nasogastric intubation procedure should be reported to a doctor for further evaluation.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.