Comparing bedside methods of determining placement of gastric tubes in children

Marsha L.Cirgin Ellett, Mervyn D. Cohen, Joseph M.B. Croffie, Kathleen A. Lane, Joan K. Austin, Susan M. Perkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare the accuracy and predictive validity of pH, bilirubin, and CO2 in identifying gastric tube placement errors in children. Design and Methods: After the tube was inserted into 276 children, the CO2 monitor reading was obtained. Fluid was then aspirated to test pH and bilirubin. Results: Lack of ability to obtain tube aspirate was the best predictor of NG/OG placement errors with a sensitivity of 34.9% and a positive predictive value of 66.7%. Measuring pH, bilirubin, and CO2 of tube aspirate was less helpful. Practice Implications: Healthcare providers should suspect NG/OG tube misplacement when no fluid is aspirated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-79
Number of pages12
JournalJournal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Bilirubin
  • Child
  • CO monitoring
  • Nasogastric tube
  • pH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics

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