Search The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne Search

Clinical Guidelines (Nursing)

RCH>Other>Tracheostomy Suctioning

Tracheostomy Suctioning

  • Equipment

    • Suction wall attachment or portable unit
    • Suction canister
    • Tubing
    • Suction catheter
    • Sterile water 

    Checks

    • Ensure  tracheostomy kit is present
    • Appropriate size suction catheter
    • Depth required for tracheostomy tube suctioning3
    • Appropriate suction pressure. 
    The correct suction pressure for use on a tracheostomy tube is 80-120mmHgmaximumwhen occluded.  The Medigas suction gauges on the ward are measured on kPa.  The equivalent of 80-120mmHg is 10-16kPa.

    Procedure

    • Explain to the patient and their family that you are going to suction the tracheostomy tube.
    • Utilise personal protective equipment including non sterile gloves and safety glasses.
    • Suction using a clean, non touch technique.
    • Gently introduce the suction catheter into the tracheostomy tube to the pre-measured depth.3
    • Apply suction & gently rotate the catheter while withdrawing. Each suction should not be any longer than 5-10 seconds.3
    • Assess the patient's respiratory rate, skin colour and/or oximetry reading to ensure the patient has not been compromised during the procedure.  Repeat the suction as indicated by the patient's individual condition.
    • Rinse the suction catheter with sterile water decanted into bowl, not directly from bottle. 
    • Look at the secretions in the suction tubing - they should be clear or white and move easily through the tubing.
    • Notify the parent team if the secretions are abnormal, and consider sending a specimen for culture and sensitivity.

    Special Considerations

    • Some patients may require assisted ventilation before and after suctioning. If required, this will be requested by the parent medical team or Respiratory Nurse.
    • If the correct size suction catheter does not pass easily into the tracheostomy tube, suspect a blocked or partially blocked tube and prepare for immediate  tracheostomy tube change

    Links

    Tracheostomy Management Guideline

     

    Please remember to read the disclaimer.
Donate now Support us

Support The Royal Children's Hospital