Posted: June 15, 2014

 A nasogastric tube is a flexible rubber or plastic tube that is inserted through the nose and down the esophagus into the stomach. It can be used to remove contents from the stomach or to administer nutrition or medications in a patient who cannot take food or drink by mouth. After a nasogastric tube, or NGT, is inserted, a doctor or nurse must confirm that the tube is in the stomach and not in a patient’s lung. To check for placement, a healthcare provider may attach a syringe to the end of the NGT and aspirate or pull back stomach juices to confirm that the tube is in the stomach. A more reliable method of checking tube placement is by obtaining an x-ray to actually visualize the end of the tube in the stomach.
 If correct placement of the tube is not confirmed, or if the end of the tube is in the lung, fluid or medication administered through the NGT will go into the lung. Tube feedings or medications in the lung can lead to severe respiratory distress, pneumonia or a lack of oxygen to the brain and other organs.  If the tubing mistake is not promptly diagnosed it could lead to death.
 If you or someone close to you suffered permanent brain damage or death due to a misplaced feeding tube you may want to contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer or tubing error injury law firm for additional information and a free consultation.