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Medication Administration with Nasogastric Tube

Nasogastric and gastrostomy tubes are used for patients who are unable to swallow or ingest anything orally. The nasogastric tube is passed through the nose and into the stomach opening with direct access to the stomach through which medication can be administered to the patient. The nasogastric tube is also used as a temporary feeding tube and to remove stomach contents. The gastrostomy tube is inserted through the skin and directly into the stomach and is used primarily as a permanent feeding tube that can also be used to administer medication.
When administering medication through the nasogastric tube and the gastrostomy tube:
• Check the prescriber’s order.
• Be sure that the tube is in the proper position by one of two methods:
1. Attach syringe to free end of NG tube; inject 1 or more 20 mL bursts of
air into the tube. Aspirate gastric contents and check pH with test paper.
If it is 0–4 the tube is in the stomach.
2. Inject 10 mL of air through NG tube and listen with the stethoscope over
the stomach for a rush of air. This is not done with a gastronomy tube.
• Remove the plunger from a syringe and pour medication into the syringe.
• Close the clamp on the nasogastric or gastrostomy tube.
• Attach the syringe to the nasogastric or gastrostomy tube.
• Open the clamp, pour the medication into the syringe and hold the tube up,
allowing the medication to flow down the tube.
Flush the tube with 30 to 50 mL of water.
Close the clamp and remove the syringe.

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