Source: Madeline Lassche, MSNEd, RN and Katie Baraki, MSN, RN, College of Nursing, University of Utah, UT
An enteric tube is a tube that is inserted and passed into the stomach or intestines. Enteric tubes serve multiple purposes, including stomach decompression (through the removal of air, gastric contents, and secretions), enteric feeding, and/or the administration of medications or oral contrast. Enteric tubes are indicated for patients with impaired swallowing and for patients with neurological or other conditions associated with an increased risk of aspiration, or when the patient is unable to maintain adequate oral intake of fluid or calories. There are multiple types of enteric tubes, with their generic names assigned according to the insertion site and the gastrointestinal termination point. For instance, one of the common tube types is the nasogastric tube, which is inserted through a nostril and passed along the upper gastrointestinal tract into the stomach.
When administering medications through an enteric tube, it is important to ensure that the tube terminates in the intended gastrointestinal location. When enteric tubes are initially placed, the position of the tube is verified by X-ray. However, due to gastric peristalsis, enteric tubes may migrate out of their intended …
1Department of Surgery, UCLA, 2Department of Pathology, UC Irvine