Thoracic complications of nasogastric tube: review of safe practice

Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2005 Oct;4(5):429-33. doi: 10.1510/icvts.2005.109488. Epub 2005 Jun 21.


Objectives: Insertion of a nasogastric tube, though a common clinical procedure, can produce unexpected complications. We sought to analyse the procedure, and explore means to improve its safety.

Methods: We present a case with a thoracic complication. We review the English literature for the range of complications, and collate all available clinical tests used to confirm enteric placement.

Results: We discuss the short-comings of the usual clinical tests and emphasise the more recent, but less mainstream, procedures that introduce more objectivity to the enteric tube placement.

Conclusions: We provide summary points to guide the clinician in everyday practice.