Glossary Entry: Nasogastric (NG) Tube


Definition: A nasogastric (NG) tube is a flexible tube that is inserted through the nose, down the esophagus, and into the stomach, allowing for the delivery of medication, nutrients, or the removal of gastric contents.

Detailed Description

Types and Variations

Variations: Nasogastric tubes come in various sizes and materials, with some specialized tubes designed for specific purposes such as feeding, suctioning, or decompression.


Common Uses: Nasogastric tubes are commonly used for feeding patients who are unable to eat or drink normally, removing stomach contents in cases of gastrointestinal obstruction or bleeding, and administering medications or contrast agents.

Insertion and Placement

Procedure: The nasogastric tube is inserted through one nostril and advanced down the esophagus into the stomach. Care must be taken to confirm correct placement to avoid complications such as aspiration.

Clinical Considerations

Potential Complications

Risks: Complications associated with nasogastric tube placement include discomfort, nasal mucosal irritation, nosebleeds, aspiration, and incorrect tube placement, leading to feeding into the lungs.

Care and Maintenance

Maintenance Requirements: Proper care and maintenance of a nasogastric tube include regular flushing with water, monitoring for signs of blockage, and securing the tube to prevent accidental dislodgement.

Additional Information

Related Devices

Associated Terms: Related devices include nasogastric feeding pumps, suction equipment, and nasogastric tube insertion kits.

Innovations and Advancements

Recent Developments: Advancements in nasogastric tube design have focused on improving patient comfort, reducing the risk of complications, and enhancing the accuracy of tube placement confirmation.

Regulatory and Safety Notes

Regulations: Healthcare professionals must adhere to strict guidelines for the insertion, care, and use of nasogastric tubes to ensure patient safety and prevent complications.