Use Of Suction Catheter Systems In Treatment Of Respiratory Disorders

Use Of Suction Catheter Systems In Treatment Of Respiratory Disorders

Introduction     |    Types     |    Benefits     |    How to use?     |    Top-Selling

Many a time breathing can be obstructed due to debris that gets accumulated inside the chest cavity. The degree of blockage of the chest can vary from ailment to ailment and thus noticing a blockage might become difficult sometimes. We might consider short breaths to be a loss of stamina or a sign of being unfit but sometimes this is an indication that the blockage in the chest is causing the loss of breath. Severe conditions might result in a person losing their ability to breathe normally all together. This is where a medical practitioner comes in and identifies the problem. The best device to help a person in draining the debris is a suction device. There are different units that help in draining the mucus and other waste out of the chest, but all of them have an indispensable part called the suction catheter.

What is a Suction Catheter?

A suction catheter is a hollow tube that is inserted into the upper airway to drain the mucus, saliva, and other debris that obstructs a person’s breathing. It is not inserted into the chest cavity like an intercostal catheter, but it drains the waste from the upper airway, trachea, and main bronchi. For the suctioning procedure, one end of the suction tube is connected to a suction machine or an aspirator. The other end is then placed into a trach tube to extract secretions.

Types of Suction Catheters

Suction catheters come in different styles, namely, closed system, yankauer, latex, and latex-free. Such a wide variety allows for convenient and hassle-free trach suctioning.

1. Closed System Suction Catheters

Usually accustomed to a kit, closed system suction catheters reduce the chances of infection during the draining process. They enable the user to clear secretions with increased ventilation and minimize the contamination of the catheter. ReliaMed Coil Packed Suction Catheter Kit is the best example of a closed system catheter.

2. Suction Catheter Yankauers

Yankauers are suction tips with a bulbous head to ensure that no amount of surrounding tissue is damaged during the catheterization process. These catheters prevent aspiration during suction procedures. Their tip allows efficient drainage of secretion and debris from the chest. Conmed Bulb Tip Yankauer with On and Off Control Switch is one such type of suctioning catheter.

3. Latex Suction Catheters

Latex suction catheters are made from 100% latex rubber and the red rubber feature of the catheter enables maximum flexibility as compared to any other material made catheter. They are designed to be radiopaque which means they are easily visible under scanners. One of the popular red rubber catheters is Bard Tracheal Suction Latex Red Rubber Catheter.

4. Latex-Free Suction Catheters

Latex-free suction catheters are completely devoid of latex. They are perfect for a person sensitive or allergic to latex. They constitute a number of materials to overcome the loss of flexibility because of the absence of latex. Carefusion Tri-Flo No-Touch Single Catheter is one of the best latex-free suction catheters.

Benefits of using Suction Catheters

  • Suction catheters are specially designed to eliminate the secretions from the upper airway, trachea, and bronchi.
  • They are flexible and smooth so that the user experiences minimum pain while it is inserted.
  • They are mostly radiopaque and can be detected easily through scanning machines, thus enabling easy detection in the airway canal.
  • Suction catheter types with multi-tip options help in using the right catheter for the right need.

How to use Suction Catheters?

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water.
  2. Switch on the suction machine and connect a suction connection tubing to the main unit.
  3. Connect a clean suction catheter to the suction connection tubing.
  4. Ask the patient to lay flat on their back with a small towel rolled under their shoulders. Some patients may even try a sitting position if needed.
  5. Wet the suction tube with distilled water for lubrication.
  6. Carefully insert the catheter through the nose, tracheostomy tube, or endotracheal tube.
  7. Keep on inserting it till it reaches the appropriate depth and applies intermittent suction. Do not leave the catheter in place for more than 5-10 seconds as the patient will not be able to breathe properly with the catheter in place.
  8. Withdraw the catheter slowly in a twirling motion.
  9. If you will be suctioning more than once, allow the patient to recover from the suctioning and catch their breath. Wait for at least 10 seconds.
  10. After removal, suction a small amount of distilled water with the catheter to remove any residual debris or secretions.
  11. Switch off the suction machine and discard the catheter.
ReliaMed Coil Packed Suction Catheter Kit Shop Covidien Kendall Argyle Suction Catheter Buy CareFusion AirLife Brand Tri-Flo Single Catheters
ReliaMed Coil Packed Suction Catheter Kit Covidien Kendall Argyle Suction Catheter
CareFusion AirLife Brand Tri-Flo Single Catheters

Precautions for Suctioning Procedure

  • Always make sure your hands are clean so that no contamination takes place.
  • Use only sterile or distilled water while initially washing the catheter.
  • Always wash the used catheter immediately to avoid infections.
  • If the catheter is a one-time use catheter, immediately dispose of it as it might be a biohazard.
  • Always allow time for the patient to breathe.

How to Clean Suction Catheters at Home?

These catheters must be cleaned and well-kept after every use to ensure that they are safe from infection and fit for your next usage. Cleaning suction catheters is not as hard as one may think, here is how you can clean your suction catheter at home -

You will require -

  • hydrogen peroxide
  • clean utensil (container or a bowl)
  • a piece of cloth
  • sterile saltwater 
  • a dry towel 

Instructions -

  1. Add some hydrogen peroxide to the bowl
  2. Let the catheter suck the hydrogen peroxide in and then let it out until the dirt comes out too with the chemical
  3. Dry the outside of the catheter by using a piece of clean cloth
  4. Let the catheter dry for a while
  5. Separate the connecting tube from the catheter and let the parts dry completely
  6. Use a dry towel to wrap the catheter and its parts into it
  7. Follow these steps to cleanse your suction catheter 
  8. Change your catheter as frequently as your doctor must have prescribed you.


Suction catheters have been a revolutionary tool in the process of removing waste from the airway canals of the body. Their design and variations in the tip style allow a person to choose from a variety of options. Choosing the right kind of catheter is very important as it determines the ease with which the person might regain normal breathing function.


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