suction apparatus and its uses

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what is suction apparatus? 

A suction machine, also known as an aspirator, is used to remove gases or liquids such as mucus, vomit, serum, blood, saliva, or other secretions from a patient’s body cavity. These cavities could be the lungs, mouth, and even the skull.

Suction apparatus is used in circumstances such as:

  • When a patient is unconscious, vomiting or seizing.
  • When there is an ongoing medical procedure.

Whether you are using a suction apparatus (single jar) or suction apparatus (double jar), besides removing an obstruction, there are several other important uses of this device in pre-hospital, in-hospital, and ongoing patient care:

  • Preventing pulmonary aspiration.
  • Stopping liquids from flowing back into the body.
  • Facilitating breathing.
  • Stopping the growth of microorganisms. 
  • Allowing a doctor to work on the area.

what are the different types of suction apparatus 

Suction machines have been used in medical settings since the 1860s. What was initially a manual device transitioned to an electrical device later on. 

Today, with the advancements in technology, several types of hospital suction machines are available. These include:

  1. Manual suction machines: As the name suggests, this device is operated without the use of electricity or batteries. Since they are often used in emergencies outside the hospital, they are suction machine portable. They are simple to use, small, and lightweight. 
  1. Wall-mounted suction machines: These machines are mounted in hospital rooms or in ambulances. They are effective, reliable, and give consistent results. These are electrical suction machines that need a constant power supply to run and function. They are used by medical teams as a standard procedure during surgeries.
  1. Portable suction machine: A portable suction machine is designed so that it can easily be moved from one place to the other. Running on batteries, they are lightweight and easy to operate. Portable suction apparatus is used for patients who are receiving palliative care for conditions like COPD, cystic fibrosis, ALS, etc., and cannot clear secretions on their own. Due to their portable nature, these devices are potential lifesavers in emergencies like accidents, trauma, or respiratory emergencies.

how to use suction machines? 

Suction machines work on the principle of negative pressure that creates a vacuum effect to pull out secretions from a person’s oral cavity. To create this negative pressure, several components of the suction machine work in conjunction. These include:

  • Vacuum pump, which causes the negative pressure
  • Connecting tubes, which connect the pump to the collection canister.
  • Sterile patient tube that carries the secretions into the collection canister.
  • Disposable canister that holds the secretions and prevents contamination of other parts of the suction machine.
  • Filters, which prevent the inner parts of the suction machine from getting contaminated by viruses, bacteria, dust, and gases.
  • Batteries and power cord to run the machine. 

Once all these parts portable machine setup has been done, you can start using the machine. Here is how suction machine use is done:

  1. Wash and disinfect your hands.
  2. Turn on the machine and connect the connecting tubes.
  3. Connect a clean and dry suction catheter to the connecting tubes.
  4. The patient should be laid flat on their back. If the patient prefers a seated position, you may try that. Place a rolled towel under the shoulders. 
  5. Use sterile or distilled water to lubricate the catheter and test the machine’s functioning.
  6. Insert the catheter into the tracheostomy tube carefully. Ideally the length of the catheter and the tracheostomy tube must be the same. 
  7. Place your thumb over the suction vent and remove it within 5-10 seconds. 
  8. Allow the patient to rest and resume the suctioning if required. 
  9. Once the procedure is over, turn off the machine and discard the catheter. 

One of the most critical elements of usage of this machine suction machine is its cleaning process. Several parts of this machine are single-use and need to be disposed of after use. As a mandate, the parts that are not single-use need to be cleaned frequently. This is essential for freeing the suction machine and its parts of hazardous contaminants. You should wear personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure your safety against contaminated waste. The waste and the single-use parts should be disposed of according to your area’s protocols for the disposal of medical waste. 

Never allow substances such as grease or oil to enter the suction machine’s components. Never run the parts through too much water or use abrasive machine cleaners.

conclusion 

Looking at their importance in treating life-threatening situations, suction apparatus is a critical element in both pre and in-hospital settings. To ensure that your machines keep working in the best condition, always refer to their manual to gain insights on their operating and cleaning procedures.  

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