Nasal Gavage

I. Definition:

  • In this method of feeding, liquid is introduced into the stomach through a rubber catheter which is passed through the anterior and posterior nose and the pharynx into the esophagus. When forced feeding is necessary, this method is less exhausting as the mouth does not have to be forced or kept open.

II. Therapeutic Uses:

  1. When a patient is weakened and cannot swallow food.
  2. Sometimes in the operation of the mouth such as carcinoma of the tongue, a cleft palate or fracture of the jaw etc.
  3. In the operation of the throat and sometimes after tracheotomy.
  4. In tetanus or meningitis with a locked jaw.
  5. In forced feeding for irrational and violet patients.
  6. In very weak patient who cannot swallow food vary well.

III. Equipment:

Tray with:

  • Medium size rubber catheter
  • Sterile (No.2 French catheter for adult)
  • Sterile glass syringe or a small glass funnel attached
  • O.S
  • Kidney basin
  • Dressing rubber
  • Draw sheet
  • Lubricant
  • A flask containing the nourishment ordered at temperature of 104 to 105°F

IV. Procedure

  • Food consists of any liquid for which will readily pass through the tube.
  • The temperature should be warm, not hot, as the lining of the nose is much sensitive than that of the mouth.
  • The danger of burning the patient is greater when feeding by this method
  1. The position of the patient may be lying down with the head turned to one side or sitting up with the head titled forward. An Infant should lie across knees of the nurse with head turned away from the nurse.
  2. Expel the air and lubricate the tube.
  3. Insert the curve thru the nose and backward inward the septum. Instruct the patient to make motion of swallowing till about 3 inches of the catheter is introduced.
  4. Tell patient to open the mouth and look if the catheter has passed if patient coughs, wait before moving down the catheter.
  5. Introduce 6 to 8 inches. Wait until the patient is accustomed to the presence of the tube.
  6. Connect the funnel to the catheter; then pour the liquid slowly at the sides. Raise 3 to 4 inches above the nostril and release food slowly.
  7. Wait for a few minutes then pinch the tube and withdraw. In some cases the tube is left and hold in place by adhesive.

Precautions for Nasal Gavage

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