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DOI: 10.1002/ncp.10189


The placement of a nasogastric tube (NGT) in a pediatric patient is a common practice that is generally perceived as a benign bedside procedure. There is potential risk for NGT misplacement with each insertion. A misplaced NGT compromises patient safety, increasing the risk for serious and even fatal complications. There is no standardized method for verification of the initial NGT placement or reverification assessment of NGT location prior to use. Measurement of the acidity or pH of the gastric aspirate is the most frequently used evidence-based method to verify NGT placement. The radiograph, when properly obtained and interpreted, is considered the gold standard to verify NGT location. However, the uncertainty regarding cumulative radiation exposure related to radiographs in pediatric patients is a concern. To minimize risk and improve patient safety, there is a need to identify best practice and to standardize care for initial and ongoing NGT location verification. This article provides consensus recommendations for best practice related to NGT location verification in pediatric patients. These consensus recommendations are not intended as absolute policy statements; instead, they are intended to supplement but not replace professional training and judgment. These consensus recommendations have been approved by the American Society for Parental and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) Board of Directors.

Journal Title

Nutrition in clinical practice : official publication of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition





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MeSH Keywords

Child; Consensus; Delivery of Health Care; Enteral Nutrition; Gastrointestinal Contents; Humans; Hydrogen-Ion Concentration; Intubation, Gastrointestinal; Patient Safety; Pediatrics; Practice Guidelines as Topic; Radiography; Risk; Societies, Medical; X-Rays


NG feeding tube; enteral nutrition; misplacement; pediatric