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Adult nursing
Insufficient evidence to support ultrasonography as a method to rule out an improperly positioned nasogastric tube
  1. Norma A Metheny
  1. Correspondence to Dr Norma A Metheny, Saint Louis University School of Nursing, St Louis, MO 63104, USA; norma.metheny{at}slu.edu

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Commentary on: Lin T, Gifford W, Lan Y, et al. Diagnostic accuracy of ultrasonography for detecting nasogastric tube (NGT) placement in adults: a systematic review and meta analysis. Int J Nurs Stud 2017;71:80–88.

Implications for practice and research

  • There is insufficient evidence to support ultrasonography as a method to rule out an improperly positioned nasogastric tube.

  • Large controlled studies are needed to determine circumstances under which ultrasonography is most likely to predict correct nasogastric tube placement.

Context

Nasogastric tube insertion is a commonly performed procedure in patients of all ages in a variety of settings. At present, a properly obtained and interpreted X-ray is the standard for determining correct tube placement. To reduce radiation risk and cost, investigators continue to search for bedside testing methods that approach the accuracy of radiography. The ideal bedside test would have high sensitivity and specificity and be easy to perform with minimal equipment. Specificity is especially important to assure that the method could …

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