NG tube insertion deemed aerosol generating procedure

New guidance states there “there is significant potential for the patient to initiate a cough”.

Matt Bodell
14 April 2020
NT Tube

NG tube insertion poses significant potential for the patient to initiate a cough.

The British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BAPEN) has released new guidance that classes the passing of nasogastric (NG) or nasojejunal (NJ) tubes as an aerosol generating procedure (AGP). 

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Released today, the new guidance says healthcare professionals undertaking the insertion of either NG or NJ tubes should wear PPE in line with the advice on AGPs.

When treating a patient who is either suspected or confirmed COVID-19 staff should be wearing a long-sleeved gown, FFP3 mask, eye protection, and gloves.

When treating a non-COVID patient an apron, fluid-resistant surgical facemask, eye protection and gloves should be worn. 

While the guidance differs from that by Public Health England (PHE), BAPEN cites the close proximity of healthcare professionals to patients alongside the high-risk of the procedure inducing sputum as the reason for the decision.

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The guidance states that while “the insertion of NG and NJ tubes is considered to be a non-aerosol generating procedure (AGP) by Public Health England (PHE)” there “is significant potential for the patient to initiate a cough or may require suction to the oral cavity or upper airway, which is considered an AGP.”

In a statement, BAPEN said; “The insertion of Nasogastric Tubes (NGT) and Nasojejunal Tubes (NJT) should be categorised as Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGP).

“As a result, any dietitian (or other healthcare professional) asked or required to undertake this role (in any setting), should be provided with appropriate PPE.

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