Gastric lavage is used infrequently in modern poisonings and some authorities have suggested that it not be used routinely, if ever, in poisoning situations. Lavage should only be considered if the amount of poison ingested is potentially life-threatening and the procedure can be performed within 60 minutes of ingestion.
Lavage is contraindicated when patients have a compromised, unprotected airway and in patients at risk of gastrointestinal hemorrhage or perforation. Relative contraindications include when the poisoning is due to a corrosive substance hydrocarbons or for poisons that have an effective antidote.
Many complications have been reported although it appears serious complications are uncommon. The most dangerous risk is aspiration pneumonia, which is more likely to occur if hydrocarbons are ingested or in patients without a protected airway. Other complications include laryngospasm, hypoxia, bradycardia, epistaxis, hyponatremia, hypochloremia, water intoxication, or mechanical injury to the stomach.
Gastric lavage in acute organophosphorus pesticide poisoning (GLAOP)--a randomised controlled trial of multiple vs. single gastric lavage in unselected acute organophosphorus pesticide poisoning.(Study protocol)(Clinical report)
Dec 01, 2006; Abstract Background: Organophosphorus (OP) pesticide poisoning is the most common form of pesticide poisoning in many Asian...