Gastrointestinal decontamination is central to the care of poisoned patients, and gastric lavage is one common method for gastrointestinal decontamination. Gastric lavage in pediatric patients should be limited to children who present shortly after a potentially life-threatening ingestion. The routine use of gastric lavage has recently been questioned because of limited outcome data and increased morbidity. If gastric lavage is deemed necessary, proper positioning of the patient and strict attention to appropriate technique are essential to avert complications.
University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Hartford, Connecticut, USA
Correspondence to Jeffrey R Tucker, MD, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, 282 Washington Street, Hartford, CT 06106, USA