Airway Management Secretion Removal

Airway Management
Secretion Removal
Lesson Objective
• Students learn to perform secretion
removal and its indications.
• The student will demonstrate the ability
to perform secretion removal safely
Components of an effective cough
1. Adequate volume
2. Abdominal contraction
3. Glottic closure
• May be due to inadequate VC
• IPPB may assist with volume
• BUT you still have to get that cough!!!
• May be due to inadequate abdominal contraction
or splinting due to pain
• Surgical site
• Broken ribs
• What should YOU do?
• Assist the cough
Sheet splint
Pillow splint
Chest wall splint
Huff cough
Abdominal thrust
Glottis does not close properly
Artificial airway in place
Vocal cord malfunction
– Narcotics
• Abnormal mucous blanket
– thick, inspissated
– humidity deficit
We suction when:
Secretions are seen
Secretions are heard
Secretions are felt
The patient is unable to clear the
secretions without help
Types of suction catheters
(A) Whistle Tip
(B) Argyle Airflow
(C) Coudé Directional
Suction Catheter
• A hole near the distal end that prevents the
catheter from adhering to mucosa.
• Coudé Tip
– Curved at the end (directional catheter)
• Purpose:
– Easier to direct into the left mainstem bronchus
– May not always work
– For best results:
– Position patient on left side
Suction catheter sizing
The French catheter scale or "French units" (Fr) is
commonly used to measure the outside diameter of
needles, catheters, and other cylindrical medical
1 Fr is equivalent to 0.33 mm = .013" = 1/77" of
diameter. Thus, the size in French units is roughly
equal to the circumference of the catheter in
• O.D. of the catheter should not be more than ½ the
I.D. of the tube being suctioned
• Usual adult sizes: 12-14 Fr
Choosing the right catheter
• Multiply the tracheal tubes inner
diameter by 2. Then use the next
smallest size catheter.
Example: 6mm ETT: 6 x 2 = 12; next
smallest catheter is 10 French
Example: 8mm ETT: 6 x 2 = 16; next
smallest catheter is 14 French
Closed System
Yankauer Suction
• Also known as
– tonsil tip
• Used to suction mouth to clear oral
• Used to suction vomitus (steak, burrito)
• If the patient bites it. . . it still works
Suction Canister
Vacuum source
Connecting Tube
Suction Kit
Sterile H2O or NS
Water Soluble Gel
Goggles or face shield
Ambu Bag (with mask) and
connected to oxygen source
Procedure for Nasotracheal
Suctioning (NTS)
Proper head position for nasotracheal
Place patient’s head in the
sniffing position.
After suction catheter is in the
trachea, the patient may relax
his/her head in a more
comfortable position.
A view of the vocal cords from
the top. They are most widely
separated during inspiration,
so entry into the trachea is
easiest when the patient is
Prepare equipment
Pre-ventilate and pre-oxygenate
Maintain asepsis
Insert catheter without suction until meet obstruction
head in “sniffing position” to ease entry
advance into trachea during inspiration
Withdraw slightly before applying suction
Start withdrawing catheter
Rotate catheter, applying suction intermittently
Suction no more than 15 sec
RE oxygenate and ventilate
Repeat PRN
Complications and Hazards of Suctioning
Hypoxemia - #1 complication
– give oxygen before and after
– catheter size
• if the catheter is too big, there will be little or no air
– Time – suction no more that 15 secs.
Tissue trauma
– May be able to prevent it . . .
catheter selection?
intermittent vs. continuous
a “delicate touch”
vacuum adjustment
Complications and Hazards of Suctioning
Cardiac arrhythmias
– Vagal stimulation will cause
• bradycardia
– Hypoxemia can cause
• PVCs
• tachycardia
– If these occur…
STOP procedure and give oxygen
Complications and Hazards of Suctioning
• Nosocomial Infection
– oral to nasal secretion transport
– poor technique
– hand washing
• Atelectasis
– time vs. suction
– do not suction longer than 15 seconds
– catheter size
• Increased intracranial pressure
– secondary to coughing
Collecting a Specimen
1. Cough into a Kleenex
– can’t use the specimen for anything more than observing
color and consistency
2. Specimen cup
– used if the patient can cough and spit
– sterile vs. non-sterile
3. Leuken’s Trap
– use with suction catheter provides a sterile specimen
4. For C&S
– sterile
– normal saline
5. For cytology
– 50% ethyl alcohol
– 2% carbowax
Stoma Care
• Purpose
– prevent infection
– maintain patent airway
– promote healing
• Hazards
– dislodge the tube
– decannulation
– infection
Clinical Do’s and Don’ts in
Providing Tracheostomy Care
Your patient may have a tracheostomy to bypass an upper airway
obstruction, prevent aspiration, manage tracheobronchial secretions, or
allow for prolonged mechanical ventilation.
• Always keep supplies at your patient’s bedside for suctioning; tube and
stoma care; delivery of oxygen, heat, and humidity; tracheostomy tube
replacement; and artificial ventilation (resuscitation bag).
• Begin assessing the tracheostomy by inspecting the stoma site, which
is typically slightly larger than the tracheostomy tube.
• Note the amount, color, consistency, and odor of tracheal and stoma
secretions. Confirm the tracheostomy tube size and whether it’s cuffed
or fenestrated.
• When your assessment findings (coarse breath sounds, noisy breathing,
and prolonged expiratory sounds) indicate that your patient’s airway
needs clearing, suction it using sterile technique. Hyperoxygenate the
patient before and after suctioning and between passes to compensate
for suctioning-induced hypoxemia.
• Stabilize the neck flanges and remove the inner cannula.
• If the inner cannula is designed for reuse, clean it in a solution of equal parts
of hydrogen peroxide and 0.9% sodium chloride (normal saline) or sterile
water. Wear sterile gloves and maintain aseptic technique. Remove encrusted
secretions from the lumen of the tube with sterile pipe cleaners or a soft sterile
brush. After cleaning, thoroughly rinse the inner cannula with normal saline or
sterile water.
• Reinsert the inner cannula and securely lock it in place.
• Using sterile cotton-tipped swabs, clean the peristomal skin with half-strength
hydrogen peroxide solution, rinse with normal saline or sterile water, and pat
dry with sterile gauze.
• Remove the old ties and secure new ties to the tracheostomy tube flanges. Be
sure you can insert your little finger easily between the tie and the patient’s
neck to check the fit and to ensure his comfort.
• Place a sterile split gauze under the tube flanges to absorb secretions.
• Place the call bell where your patient can easily reach it.
• Don’t clean and reuse an inner cannula designed for one-time use.
• Don’t cut gauze and place it under the tracheostomy tube flanges;
inhalation could draw fibers into the patient’s trachea. Use a manufactured
split sponge or fold a gauze sponge with creativity (see lab for details).
• Don’t lavage with normal saline during suctioning unless you need to clear
a blockage of clots or mucus or unless the patient has thick, tenacious
• Don’t allow a humidifier to empty.
• Don’t allow condensation to accumulate in the oxygen delivery tubing.
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