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Nasogastric tubes in postoperative cardiac patients

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  • Nasogastric (NG) tubes provide a route for giving medication, an ability to drain the stomach, and access for nutrition.
  • NG tubes can be uncomfortable, difficult to place in older children and they have rare but serious complications.
  • NG tubes are usually placed on admission to PICU from the OR while the patient is still anaesthetized and their position checked on the post op CXR.

Patients who require an NG tube

  • All those < 5 years of age.
  • Patients who require enteral nutrition or enteral medications but are unable to take them orally.

Patients who do not require an NG tube

  • All those 5 years + who will be extubated within 24 hours.

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Document Control

  • Date last published: 05 March 2018
  • Document type: Clinical Guideline
  • Services responsible: Paediatric Intensive Care Unit
  • Owner: D Buckley
  • Editor: Brent McSharry
  • Review frequency: 2 years