Volatile biomarker positioning of nasogastric tubes to enhance patient safety (acronym: NG-Sure)


Naso-gastric (NG) tubes (a tube passed down a person’s nostril into the oesophagus then stomach) provide feeds/medicines to patients if they cannot swallow/take fluids by mouth, or need intensive care/surgery. Sometimes NG-tubes become misplaced on insertion or move out of the stomach later on. If fluids are given down a misplaced NG-tube (very rare) this may cause serious patient harm.

Current practice for confirming NG-tube position relies upon 1) obtaining gastric fluid up the NG-tube and testing its pH (50-85% chance of success) or then 2) taking an X-ray if aspirate cannot be obtained – sometimes these are misinterpreted.

Our research within the Yorkshire and Humber ARC improvement science theme is developing an alternative solution, a new instrument ‘NG-Sure®’, for use in adult patients, to detect correct NG-tube position. Our research programme is almost complete, our final study is currently underway testing the feasibility of NG-Sure® on patient samples.

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