As early as 1790 John Hunter of London reported the use of a stomach tube for the purpose of feeding a patient with paralysis of the muscles of deglutition.1,2 Since that time, however, a long period elapsed, so that only an occasional sporadic report concerning the use of gastric tubes appeared in the literature throughout the nineteenth century. Consequently, it was not until the first 4 decades of the present century that the innovation of an entirely new armamentarium for our approach to gastrointestinal problems was witnessed. In 1921 Levin3 described the smooth catheter-tipped tube which is in common usage today and now bears his name. Later, in 1931, Wangensteen4-6 demonstrated the advantage of upper gastrointestinal decompression in acute mechanical obstruction. Shortly after this, in 1933, Wangensteen and Paine pointed out the advantage of constant suction over siphonage in decompressing the upper gastrointestinal tract. Since that time
HAFNER CD, WYLIE JH, BRUSH BE. Complications of Gastrointestinal Intubation. Arch Surg. 1961;83(1):147–160. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1961.01300130151018
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