Why gastric lavage contraindicated in advanced pregnancy?

Why gastric lavage contraindicated in advanced pregnancy?

Gastric lavage, or stomach pumping, is contraindicated in advanced pregnancy for several reasons:

  1. Risk of Aspiration: Advanced pregnancy increases the risk of aspiration during the procedure due to changes in the anatomy and increased intra-abdominal pressure. Aspiration can lead to severe respiratory complications.
  2. Physical Discomfort and Stress: The procedure can cause significant discomfort and stress to the pregnant person, potentially leading to contractions or preterm labor.
  3. Uterine Pressure: In advanced pregnancy, the enlarged uterus can put pressure on the stomach, making the procedure more difficult and increasing the risk of complications.
  4. Alternative Methods: Safer and less invasive alternatives for decontamination, such as activated charcoal, are preferred in pregnant patients.

Due to these risks, gastric lavage is generally avoided in advanced pregnancy unless absolutely necessary and performed in a controlled environment with appropriate precautions.