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Emergency Medical Minute


Feb 18, 2020

Author: Don Stader, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Nasogastric tubes (NGT) are very uncomfortable for all those involved but some simple tricks and tips may help:
  • Topical lidocaine can be inserted into the nasal passage for local analgesia
  • Afrin may help shrink the mucosal tissue of the nasal turbinates as well
  • Molding the tube with cold/ice water can help - putting it in an ice bath with an endotracheal tube stylet will allow you to mold the tip to your preference


Lor YC, Shih PC, Chen HH, et al. The application of lidocaine to alleviate the discomfort of nasogastric tube insertion: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine (Baltimore). 2018;97(5):e9746. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000009746

Summarized and edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD