pH Testing as the Primary Method for Nasogastric Tube Placement Verification

Main Article Content

Kira Marie Olson


The placement of a nasogastric tube is a common intervention completed by nurses in the clinical setting. Correct placement of a nasogastric tube is critical for treatment and patient outcomes. There are many reasons for a nasogastric tube insertion and many methods of placement verification, but the two most common ways of assessing nasogastric tube placement are auscultation and pH testing. There are advantages and disadvantages to both the auscultation and the pH testing methods. The auscultation method is currently the method most commonly used in practice. However, the overall research analysis clearly suggests that the pH testing method is the most accurate and is accompanied by positive patient outcomes. Study limitations included small sample sizes and were often located outside of Canada, but all studies presented similar evidence in regards to auscultation versus pH testing. Finally, based on the analysis of the evidence, recommendations are made and barriers to implementation are outlined for practice regarding the implementation of the pH method.