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EDE 3 Journal Club: Is the Tube In? Can #POCUS tell you?

April 3, 2017

That was a deceiving title. You were all thinking endotracheal tube, weren’t you? Or maybe chest tube? Actually, I am referring to the nasogastric tube. I know what you’re thinking. “Why would we need ultrasound to see if the nasogastric tube is in the stomach? It’s pretty easy to tell clinically with a stethoscope.” You would be correct… usually. And that applies to so many other clinical situations. Usually, we would have gotten the diagnosis right without ultrasound. Usually, we would’ve gone down the right treatment path without ultrasound. And usually, we would have done a procedure without any complications. But as physicians, we really don’t like “usually” in any of these settings. POCUS gets us further away from “usually”, and much closer to “always”.

Dr Tom Jelic presented an article at the recent EDE 3 Journal Club on the topic of using POCUS to confirm nasogastric tube placement. It was a study conducted by Dr Marianna Zatelli, an intensivist from Bolzano, Italy. Here is the pub med link. Take it away, Tom!

This is a relatively simple scan. Give it a try and let us know how it goes. It might make life easier in those equivocal cases.

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