The nurse alerts you that a gastric aspirate has been obtained in an infant. Gastric aspiration before feeding is a procedure by which the stomach is aspirated with an oral or nasogastric tube. The procedure is usually performed before each feeding to determine whether the feedings are being tolerated and digested. The amount of residual is measured and recorded (gastric residual). Gastric residuals indicate the rapidity of gastric emptying and can be an indicator of feeding intolerance, infection, or other diseases such as bowel obstruction/perforation if the gastric aspirate volume or color is abnormal. Isolated gastric aspirates in very low birthweight infants can reflect delayed gut maturation and motility and may not signify a gastrointestinal (GI) problem, especially if no other warning signs exist.