NG canisters:Do you empty at change of shift?

  1. Do you mark the NG canister with the time and date at the end of your shift or do you empty the entire canister and put it back? Seems to me this emptying of the canister is only opening you up to chances of exposure.

    If you do mark the canister as opposed to empyting it, can you offer me any magazine articles/studies that would support this, so I can take it to management? Thanks
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  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   RN-PA
    Our NG cannisters are emptied at the end of every shift. I don't see much difference among emptying a foley cath bag, a drain (jackson-pratt or hemovac) or NG cannister at the end of a shift to record intake and output. We all just wear gloves and wash hands afterwards as we would when dealing with any body fluid.
  4. by   jax
    Our naso-gastric tubes are usually on 4th hourly aspirates as well as free drainage, so we're fiddling with them anyway, I change the bag at the end of the shift after doing an aspirate.

    If there is a moderate to large amount of drainage, I will also change the bag as the weight of it can pull on the nose, (no matter how well you've got it set up) and I feel safer without that potential for dislodgement.

    jax
  5. by   MelissaRN
    We have the cannisters that are hooked to the wall. We mark them at the end of each shift and when they are full take out the inner cannister and put a new one in. We have this special gel stuff we put in them to help solidify all the nasty stuff.
  6. by   IamRN
    Quote from MelissaRN
    We have the cannisters that are hooked to the wall. We mark them at the end of each shift and when they are full take out the inner cannister and put a new one in. We have this special gel stuff we put in them to help solidify all the nasty stuff.
    Same here. Having this system, I don't see the chance of exposure, by emptying them, worth it.
  7. by   P_RN
    Off on a slightly different tangent.....do you use TWO cannisters with continuous suction? We were always told to because it lessened the chance of the NG getting "stuck" to the stomach wall. It went ng to cannister---->tubing up to----> cannister on the wall---->suction gauge. Wall cannister stayed empty.
  8. by   IamRN
    Quote from P_RN
    Off on a slightly different tangent.....do you use TWO cannisters with continuous suction? We were always told to because it lessened the chance of the NG getting "stuck" to the stomach wall. It went ng to cannister---->tubing up to----> cannister on the wall---->suction gauge. Wall cannister stayed empty.
    Had never heard of that set up, but it is an interesting one. Why not just use intermitten suction??? Unless of course that capability is not available???

    I have rarely, dare I say never, had an ngt to continuous sucution.
  9. by   rollingstone
    Mark on tape at end of each shift. If it's more than 3/4's full I'll empty for the next shift.
  10. by   unknown99
    We have disposable cannisters. We mark, time and date them at the end of our shift.
    When they are full, we seal them off and dispose of them in the biohazard can. So much easier than those old glass ones!!!
  11. by   Kim44
    It would never occur to me to NOT empty it. If the fluid is produced on my shift, it's my job to get rid of it.
  12. by   traumaRUs
    Yuck - ours are all disposable and get dumped every shift - but we don't open them EVER!
  13. by   Tweety
    Quote from MelissaRN
    We have the cannisters that are hooked to the wall. We mark them at the end of each shift and when they are full take out the inner cannister and put a new one in. We have this special gel stuff we put in them to help solidify all the nasty stuff.

    We don't use gel but we basically do what you do. Only empty them when they are full. Don't have any articles to support that this is the best practice, just one of those old paradigms.

    Don't you love it when the NG is d/c and the drainage just stays there for days. I'll pick up a new patient and in report nothing about an NG, but this half full container is on the wall. Come to find the NG has been d/c three days ago.
  14. by   MelissaRN
    Quote from 3rdShiftGuy
    We don't use gel but we basically do what you do. Only empty them when they are full. Don't have any articles to support that this is the best practice, just one of those old paradigms.

    Don't you love it when the NG is d/c and the drainage just stays there for days. I'll pick up a new patient and in report nothing about an NG, but this half full container is on the wall. Come to find the NG has been d/c three days ago.
    That's dayum gross I always 86 the cannister right when I d/c the tube. I had a patient that wanted to save the tube so he could show his friends what was in him. There was no way I was cleaning that puppy for him so he could have something to show the guys. I tossed it and gave him a clean one and put tape to where it was in him.
    Last edit by MelissaRN on May 25, '04

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