What is your experience with Aspiration of Gastrografin?


Good morning guys. I have a question. What is your experience with Aspiration of Gastrografin contrast? I know that it can in fact cause a really bad Pneumonitis but not sure what your experience with it. Have you had a bad case where the Patient actually ended up on the oscillator? How bad is the Mortality from aspiration of Gastrografin? Thank you so Much.

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dianah, ASN

9 Articles; 3,694 Posts

Specializes in RETIRED Cath Lab/Cardiology/Radiology. Has 48 years experience.

I don't have any experience with the scenario.

I did a google search and came up with a few articles.

Acute Respiratory Failure From Aspiration Pneumonitis: A Complication of Gastrografin Contrast Media. - ResearchGate

Gastrografin - FDA prescribing information, side effects and uses

Not a pretty thing; don't know if the seriousness depends on how much was aspirated...

Hope this helped.

Regarding the article: Why did they give their patient undiluted gastrografin in such a large quantity? Our gastric bypass patients only get 30 cc fluid q1-2 hr initially. I've never given a patient undiluted gastrografin either; we always dilute it. Aspiration of just about any med, food, fluid, or stomach contents can cause lung disease including pneumonitis.


2 Posts

Case of 58 yr old ER patient complaining of vomiting after eating take out fish. PA orders 4 mg morphine plus .5 dilaudid IV, then 30 ml gastrografin. No order for monitoring. Pt. dead from aspiration of stomach contents 30 min later unattended in CT scanner room. NEVER give oral contrast to pt who is vomiting, much less administer narcotics which depress respirations and suppress ability to clear throat. found with posterior pharynx clogged with contrast solution, unmonitored.

Specializes in Women’s Services/ Psychiatric Services. Has 39 years experience.

My father passed away after aspirating this during a small bowel series. He was in the hospital for a small intestine blockage. After aspirating this he developed aspiration pneumonia, sepsis then had multi organ failure.?


2 Posts

Sadly, giving oral anything to pt with intestinal blockage is risky or malpractice. Its on the label for Gastrografin that aspiration may occur. No need for contrast anyway given xray prob revealed blockage. In my opinion bad practice caused death.

Specializes in Women’s Services/ Psychiatric Services. Has 39 years experience.

Yes, I agree. The general surgeon ordered the test saying she hoped the gastrografin would unblocked him.(Which it did)Upon return from the test he vomited a small amount of bile then immediately his O2 sat dropped ,started wheezing & was ultimately placed on BIPAP. I knew he’d aspirated, but at that point didn’t know it occurred in the GI lab until the dr told me the next day. Also when he returned his NG tube was out of place and noted by me and his RN. I am wondering if they performed an X-ray confirming placement prior to placing the gastrografin in the tube. I have requested all records. This occurred 12/6/2019 & he passed 12/9/2019.