Gastric lavage should not be employed routinely, if ever, in the management of poisoned patients. In experimental studies, the amount of marker removed by gastric lavage was highly variable and diminished with time. The results of clinical outcome studies in overdose patients are weighed heavily on the side of showing a lack of beneficial effect. Serious risks of the procedure include hypoxia, dysrhythmias, laryngospasm, perforation of the GI tract or pharynx, fluid and electrolyte abnormalities, and aspiration pneumonitis. Contraindications include loss of protective airway reflexes (unless the patient is first intubated tracheally), ingestion of a strong acid or alkali, ingestion of a hydrocarbon with a high aspiration potential, or risk of GI hemorrhage due to an underlying medical or surgical condition. A review of the 1997 Gastric Lavage Position Statement revealed no new evidence that would require a revision of the conclusions of the Statement.