Balloon Tamponade

Balloon tamponade, via the insertion of a Sengstaken-Blakemore tube (3 lumen) or Minnesota tube (4 lumen due to inclusion of an oesophageal aspiration port), should be undertaken in patients with a variceal haemorrhage that has continued to bleed despite medical therapy when endoscopy is not immediately available.

Tamponade provides good control of bleeding in 90%, although most will re-bleed within 24 hours [JALAN]. The main role of these tubes is to buy time to endoscopy.