NGT residual

Specialties Med-Surg


When you pull up NGT residual in a syringe, do you draw it up and then return it OR do you draw it up and discard it? Initially, I was taught to return it, but recently I was told by someone else to discard it. Thanks!


839 Posts

usually return it, so as to not mess up electrolytes...

Nurse Izzy

129 Posts

We were taught to return it as long as it is not over the "recommended" amount. If it's over, you discard it.


796 Posts

Always return@!!!! You don't want to mess up the patients electrolytes....

gwenith, BSN, RN

3,755 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

Return it - unless !) It is over the recommended amount 2) contains soething occult i.e. blood (you are NOT doing the patient a favour returning blood to the stomach) or 3) you notice the patient's relative slowly changing colour to bright green. In all honesty it has been proven to be better to return. Just a question while we are on this topic. How many nurses use a fresh syringe each time they check the gastric residual? I have often witnessed the practice of reusing the same syringe (admittedly it it rinsed) but I am sure that he practice of reusing syringes for checking gastric residuals sontributes to the development of diarrhoea in enterally fed patients


73 Posts

I was always taught to return it.


1,024 Posts

Return it. Same reason as above posters. :)


581 Posts

Return what you borrow.......... :-)

Nurse Izzy

129 Posts

We use the same syringe unless it is visibly contaminated (in other words - icky!)


89 Posts

Thanks guys! I am glad to know I'm not going crazy. The nurse that told me to discard the residual went in to this long explanation of why. In the end I was just left super confused!

Oh yeah, and about the syringe...I have been taught to use a new syringe every 24 hours. Of course with washing it after each use.

nursedawn67, LPN

1,046 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics, LTC.
Originally posted by sunnygirl272

usually return it, so as to not mess up electrolytes...

This is what I was taught also.


47 Posts

same here as the above, return it unless a large amount.

change syringe q 24 hrs with washing in between.


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