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Open Access Research article

Nasogastric tube insertion in anesthetized and intubated patients: a new and reliable method

Yung-Fong Tsai123, Chiao-Fen Luo1, Amina Illias1, Chih-Chung Lin12 and Huang-Ping Yu12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Anesthesiology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, 5 Fu-Shin Street, Kwei-Shan, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan, 333, R.O.C

2 College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, 259 Wen-Hwa 1st Road, Kwei-Shan, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan, 333, R.O.C

3 Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Sciences, Chang Gung University, 259 Wen-Hwa 1st Road, Kwei-Shan, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan, 333, R.O.C

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BMC Gastroenterology 2012, 12:99  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-12-99

Published: 1 August 2012

Abstract

Background

The “Rusch” intubation stylet is used to make endotracheal tube intubation easy. We designed this study to evaluate the usage of this equipment in the guidance of nasogastric tube (NGT) insertion.

Methods

A total of 103 patients, aged 23 to 70 years, undergoing gastrointestinal or hepatic surgeries that required intraoperative NGT insertions were enrolled into our study. The patients were randomly allocated to the control group (Group C) or the stylet group (Group S) according to a computerized, random allocation software program. In the control group, the NGT was inserted with the patient’s head in an intubating position. In the stylet group, the NGT was inserted with the assistance of a “Rusch” intubation stylet tied together at the tips by a slipknot. The success rates of the two methods, the durations of the insertions, and the occurrences of complications were recorded. All of the failed cases in the control group were subjected to the new technique used in the stylet group, and the successful rescue rate was also evaluated.

Results

Successful insertions were recorded for 52/53 patients (98.1%) in Group S and for 32/50 patients (64%) in Group C. The mean insertion times were 39.5 ± 19.5 seconds in Group C and 40.3 ± 23.2 seconds in Group S. Successful rescues of failure cases in Group C were achieved in 17/18 patients (94.4%) with the assistance of a “Rusch” intubation stylet.

Conclusions

The “Rusch” intubation stylet-guided method is reliable with a high success rate of NGT insertion in anesthetized and intubated patients.

Trial registration

Institutional Review Board of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (IRB: 98-2669B) and Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12611000423910)

Keywords:
Nasogastric tube insertion; Intubation stylet; Highwayman’s hitch; Success rate