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June 16, 1956


JAMA. 1956;161(7):618. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.62970070001014

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While continuous nasogastric suction is perhaps less frequently employed than formerly, there are occasions when its effectiveness is of critical importance. One cause of its occasional failure appears to be due to the tendency of gastric mucosa to obstruct the openings in the gastric end of the tube. This has been noted with the use of the standard-type water displacement suction and with the intermittent mechanical suction, when the latter apparatus is acting through the usual 1 gal. trap bottle. The negative pressure in the trap bottle maintains, in effect, constant suction. Increasing abdominal distention has been observed in spite of the best efforts to maintain gastric aspiration.

The use of reduced suction (1 cm. Hg) by shunting a simple suction breaker in the suction line has been helpful. This requires the use of one of the mechanical types of suction pumps. Soft rubber fins glued to the tube to

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