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What happens if a naso-gastric tube gets knotted?

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Some procedures are carried out in hospital wards across the country each and every day with no ill-effect to patients. However this does not mean that because a procedure is common, and generally problem free, that there are no dangers that staff need to watch out for.

One example is the removal of a naso-gastric tube.

Naso-gastric tubes are often used in healthcare and staff are now more  familiar with the risks of this method of feeding patients. In the last few years there has been an emphasis on the importance of making sure naso-gastric tubes are correctly placed to avoid serious complications or even death.

Wrongly placed, naso-gastric tubes are a never event for the NHS.

Another potentially harmful issue around the use of naso-gastric tubes is when a tube can become looped or knotted. When removal of the tube is attempted this will cause the patient pain and distress.

As our expert article published this week explains, nurses need to be aware of the possibility of knotting so they know what to do if they experience resistance when removing a tube. As our author makes clear, it is important that a tube is removed in a slow controlled way not whipped out at speed. This will allow any resistance to be responded to and will not result in the knot causing damage. Knotted tubes need to be removed with an endoscopy.

Take a look at our article and have this issue in your and your team’s mind when carrying out this common procedure.

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