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Article
September 8, 1956

SIMPLE DEVICE FOR MAINTAINING CONSTANT PRESSURE IN SENGSTAKEN ESOPHAGEAL BALLOON

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles

Resident in Internal Medicine, Los Angeles County Hospital.

JAMA. 1956;162(2):110-111. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.72970190003007a
Abstract

The Sengstaken triple-lumen double-balloon nasogastric tube1 has been of great value in the emergency therapy of hemorrhage from esophageal varices.2 However, there has been little mention in the literature of the difficulty in maintaining a constant pressure in the esophageal balloon. A gradual fall in the pressure due to minute air leaks can be decreased by using new rubber tubing, clamping the tube leading to the inflating bulb, and tying all joints. In addition to the problem of leakage of air, there is a constant fluctuation of the esophageal balloon pressure due to changes in the volume of the balloon. These changes are related to changes in position of the patient, variations in intrathoracic pressure, and alterations in the muscle tonus of the esophagus and diaphragm. Even with a special nurse on duty to regulate the pressure constantly by adding or removing air, wide fluctuation in the pressure

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