changing nasogastric tubes.

Specialties MICU


Just wondering if any units routinely change NG tubes. I'm sometimes concerned about the state of theses tubes and the possibility that they are a breeding ground for bacteria. My facility does not change NG tubes.

Janet Barclay

90 Posts

hi Hayden, we do not routinely change Ng tubes, but we do switch them a flexible small bore feeding tube after the patient is tolerating tube feeds,



951 Posts

Specializes in Hospice, Critical Care.

We do not routinely change NG tubes either but as Janet said, we try to switch to small bore tubes where possible. What I worry about more than bacteria is necrosis. Have seen a few noses with small necrotic areas from long-term NG tubes that have been moved.


299 Posts

No we don't routinely change them either. We do try to either get them off the ng or go to a PEG for long term.

pollux, RN

38 Posts

Yes we do change them Q WK if we use silastic tubing there in for 3 mos.

Hope it is helpfull


1 Post

My experience with NG tubes is in both chronic and acute care settings. In neither setting did we have any changing protocols. In the ICU setting I did see several patients get sinus infections from long term NG tubes (these patients were all intubated). In these patients we changed the tube and used the Oral route for the rather than nasal.

Janet RN (Massachusetts)


36 Posts

In our unit we change NGT every 7 days.


2 Posts

at my hospital we do not routinely change our ng tubes, we do however change to the small silastic feeding tubes asap or a peg tube if long term feeding are predicted. all other intubated patients ng tubes stay in place unless there is a specific problem that requires removal.

Specializes in Trauma acute surgery, surgical ICU, PACU.

We don't change them either. Hopefully they don't stay in too long, athough the occaisonal person needs it for more than a couple of weeks.

Isn't there more of a risk of aspiration during the removal and insertion process? As long as placement is verified with accurate methods (which we do NOT use at my hospital, sad to say), it stays in. I never thought about infection risk, but the GI tract is hardly a sterile field anyway, is it? Usually people with long term NG's are sick enough that infection could come from any number of other sources.


8 Posts

We do not have a protocol for routinely changing NGtubes at our facility but we encourage pts that require long term tube feedings to have Peg tubes inserted (greatly decreases RF aspiration) I have found in my own practice however that Pts have instituted their own NGtube protocol: THEY PULL IT OUT, WE PUT A NEW ONE IN!!!!


567 Posts

With our new attempt to reduce restraint use, we change the Ng every time the patient pulls it out.

Funny story, One of our patients pulled one out and proceded to whip his nurse with it. Disgusting but funny yes?

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