Gastric lavage in all babies particularly, who are born through meconium stained amniotic fluid is practiced at many centres. Although there is no supporting evidence for this practice, it is believed that meconium is an irritant and can cause nausea and vomiting.
Passing an orogastric tube and subsequent stomach wash does carry certain risks like bradycardia, apnea, trauma, aspiration and gastric or oesophageal perforation. Also, such babies may show aversion to breastfeeding and can also develop functional intestinal disorder later in life.
In recent times, many researchers have come up with the evidence that there is no role of stomach wash in preventing feeding problems in such neonates.
Passage of orogastric gastric tube to check for patency of oesophagus can be done under following situations only:
- Antenatal suspicion of oesophageal atresia or CDH
- Excessive frothing
- Presence of VACTERAL anomalies (Vertebral defects, Anal atresia, Cardiac defects, Tracheo-Esophageal fistula, Renal anomalies, and Limb abnormalities)
Post pic credits Dr Ram Kumar