Nasogastric tube insertion is a basic nursing skill, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with potential serious complications. And one of those potential complications is that the NG tube doesn’t go where it’s intended. In most cases, the tube is inserted into the trachea or lungs by accident, but in some cases it can actually enter the brain.

CT scan showing NG tube in brain
Photo Source: Impacted Nurse

This can occur when congenital abnormalities or head trauma create a pathway from the nasal cavity into the brain. Though not the most common complication, intracranial insertion can (and does) happen. This is just another reminder of the immense responsibility nurses face and how we cannot ever let even the most everyday task become routine.

To learn more about nasogastric tube insertion, listen to this podcast episode!


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