NG tube

All postoperative cardiac surgical patients are allowed nothing by mouth in the immediate postoperative period and should return to the unit with a nasogastric tube in place. These tubes are necessary to prevent the complications of gastric dilatation and aspiration. It is the house officer's responsibility to ensure that these tubes are functioning appropriately. All tubes used are the Salem sump variety and therefore the sump portion of the tube must be working correctly. Frequent irrigations with small volumes of saline may be required to ensure appropriate function of these devices. Correct positioning of these tubes should be ensured on the postoperative chest x-ray.

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