Use of surface acoustic waves to reduce pain and discomfort related to indwelling nasogastric tube

A. Schlager, Y. C. Metzger, S. N. Adler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and study aims: Nasogastric intubation, one of the most widely utilized therapeutic procedures in medical practice, is associated with trauma, pain, and discomfort, which can occur both at insertion and during the indwelling phase. Although lubricating jelly is useful during the insertion phase, insertion can still cause great discomfort. Furthermore, the jelly is rapidly absorbed and therefore is unable to decrease the friction between the tissues and the tube during the indwelling phase of the nasogastric tube. The aim of this study was to test a device, the NG-Shield, that generates surface acoustic waves on the surfaces of the nasogastric tube to reduce contact time and thus friction between the nasogastric tube and body tissues. Patient and methods: Twenty-four healthy volunteers were enrolled in a single-center, crossover, blinded study, in which a nasogastric tube was inserted and left indwelling for 6 hours. Throughout the indwelling period the device was activated and deactivated alternately every hour, and the volunteers were questioned every hour about their pain and discomfort levels as well as grading pain and discomfort upon insertion and removal of the nasogastric tube. Pain and discomfort levels were compared between active and nonactive phases of the device. Results: The activated NG-Shield was found to reduce both pain and discomfort significantly in both the nose and throat throughout the indwelling phase. Conclusions: The NG-Shield is a safe and effective device for reducing pain and discomfort associated with an indwelling nasogastric tube.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1045-1048
Number of pages4
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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