Nasogastric tube knotting: a rare and potentially overlooked complication among healthcare professionals

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Abstract

SUMMARY

Nasogastric tube placement is a common procedure performed in surgical and medical specialities. The occurrence of knot formation is perhaps one of the least well-recognised complications associated with its usage. We present a case of nasogastric tube knotting to remind colleagues of this rare but important complication. A 75-year-old woman with adhesional bowel obstruction was admitted under the general surgery team. A wide bore nasogastric tube was inserted for drainage and decompression. Although placement of the tube was deemed to be successful, there was no drainage of gastric content evident. On removal of the ‘non-functioning' tube a simple knot was seen at its proximal end. A further nasogastric tube was placed and the patient's symptoms resolved with conservative management. Nasogastric tube knotting is a rare and often overlooked complication with the potential to cause significant trauma on tube removal if unrecognised.

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