We’ve been having a debate these past couple of days. Do you auscultate to check tube placement? If not how do you know it’s in the correct location?
Of course you do – if you’re using it for a feeding (that’s been my experience in a NICU). You pull up air into a syringe, hook it to the open end of your NG tube, place your stethoscope over the stomach, and push the air in. If it’s where it should be, you’ll hear the air enter the stomach. Or, you can check placement by drawing back on a syringe, and see if you get stomach contents back!
Auscultation is generally only used to check for placement in NICU patients. In adults, For large bore NG tubes we check the pH of stomach contents, and then small bore (feeding), x ray is done
At the long term care facility I worked at, it was policy to check for placement of NG feeding tubes before any meds or fluids were given and at regular intervals. We auscultated using the air bolus method and aspirated for residual. We had orders for holding feedings if the residual was over a prescribed amount and then rechecking.
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