Current Content
Volume 35, Number 1
January/February 2009

Continuing Nursing Education
Nasogastric Tube Placement Verification In Pediatric and Neonatal Patients
Michele Farrington
Sheryl Lang
Laura Cullen
Stephanie Stewart

This article reports an evidence-based practice project using the Iowa Model of Evidence-Based Practice to Promote Quality Care for a common nursing procedure, nasogastric tube placement verification in children. Little research exists regarding the care of nasogastric tubes in children, and traditional verification methods prevail. Auscultation of air insufflation over the abdomen is still used to check placement in many settings, despite research dating back to the 1980s questioning this approach. X-ray remains the only certain way to verify placement, but getting an X-ray before each feeding would be costly and impractical. Additional bedside methods are needed. Project results demonstrate a decrease (93.3% to 46.2%) in the use of auscultation and improved use of other, more reliable methods to determine nasogastric tube placement. Changing practice can be challenging. However, with persistence and re-infusion, this project provides an important example of how the evidence-based practice process leads to excellence and improves patient care.