Suction catheters are medical devices used to remove respiratory secretions, such as mucus and saliva from the upper airway. They are long, flexible tubes that connect to a suction machine or collection canister. One end of the suction catheter is connected to a suction canister (collection container) and a device that generates suction. The open end is inserted through the airway to the breathing tube or endotracheal tube or tracheostomy tube which is generally connected to a ventilator in order to remove secretions. The main purpose of suction catheters is to keep the upper airway clear of secretions and to prevent plugging. There are different types of suction catheters available, such as closed system, open system, yankauer tips, latex, red rubber catheters and latex free suction catheters.
Ventilators or Breathing Machines are often required for seriously injured and critically ill patients. The respiratory therapist inserts a suction catheter into the breathing tube/ endotracheal tube/ tracheostomy tube to remove secretions that accumulate in the airway. This keeps the airway clear of secretions and prevents blockage of the airways. Suction tubes can also effectively prevent the development of pneumonia in patients that require ventilator.
Closed system suction catheters- These multi-use suction catheters are primarily used to prevent infection and risk of pneumonia associated with suctioning. While using closed system suction catheter it is not required to disconnect the patient from the ventilator source.
The closed suction catheters also known as inline suction catheter is connected with the closed circuit from the ventilator machine and the breathing tube or endotracheal tube or the tracheostomy tube. They are multi-use suction catheters that only need to be changed every 24-48 hours. The main advantage of closed suction catheter is that the ventilator support remains intact since they are not disconnection from the ventilator. Closed suction catheters are mostly preferred since they minimises the risk of infection.
Open suction catheters on the other hand are single use disposable catheters. They can only be used after the ventilator has been disconnected from the breathing tube of the patient. Once the suction catheter is disconnected, it is gently inserted into the breathing tube for suction process to begin. The support to patient from ventilator is minimized until the suctioning is complete. Open suction catheters also poses higher risk of infection and pneumonia. However, a comparison of open and closed suction systems shows both to have similar results in terms of effectiveness and safety.
The suctioning process is safe and relatively fast. It usually takes a few seconds and therefore discomfort to patient is minimized. As with most intensive Care procedures even when performed by experienced doctors include certain risks. Complications such as hypoxia (lack of oxygen), cardiac arrhythmia, atelectasis (partial collapse in the lungs), intracranial and pulmonary pressure changes, pneumothorax (collapse of the lung) and mucosal trauma may result from endotracheal suctioning. It is best to register your concerns and discuss the details of procedure with the doctors.
Suction catheters have been a revolutionary tool in the process of removing waste from the airway canals of the body. We carry high-quality suction catheters from top manufacturers, explore our updated catalog and save big on every purchase you make.
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