The nurse is providing discharge instructions to a patient with a nasogastric (NG) tube. If the NG tube becomes clogged, the nurse should instruct the patient to:

Irrigate the NG with bicarbonate as prescribed.


• Bicarbonate is effective and inexpensive for irrigating a clogged NG tube

• Advancing or withdrawing the tube is inappropriate because the NG tube is supposed to be in the stomach

• Aspirating with a syringe is usually ineffective

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