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To determine the percentage of liquid gastric contents experimentally removable by available orogastric lavage systems, five healthy young volunteers were asked to ingest 1 mCi of liquid technicium-99m diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (Tc99m-DTPA) mixed with 50 ml tap water. Five minutes afterwards, the radionuclide was lavaged using one of three different techniques—a single syringe method, a closed gravity drainage system, and a closed double syringe method—while continuous radioisotope camera images were taken. Control images, with no lavage performed, were also taken. All of the orogastric lavage methods removed a mean of between 80% and 85% of the stomach contents. The double syringe method was the quickest, while the single syringe method was least tolerated. When compared with control, none of the lavage techniques pushed gastric contents into the duodenum. Thus, in terms of amount of liquid gastric contents removed, there was no one method that removed more than the others. Caution should be exercised in assuming that 80–85% of a liquid gastric ingestion can be removed by lavage in the uncontolled clinical setting. The use of any orogastric lavage for ingestion evacuation should be undertaken knowing that it is a morbid procedure and usually not necessary.
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Accepted: February 5, 1996
Received in revised form: January 22, 1996
Received: October 13, 1995
☆Original Contributions is coordinated by John A. Marx, md, of Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, North Carolina.
© 1996 Published by Elsevier Inc.