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The first suction units we are going to have a look at is the electric battery powered suction unit, and we have one here on the inside of the ambulance placed on the wall. This unit is not only fixed into the vehicle but with a release button on the back will easily come away so we can take it away from the vehicle and into the house or into the car, depending on where we need it. There are two or three things we need to remember with this, you need to always check before you use it. When the vehicle comes into service, do your checks. Take the unit off the wall and check the battery levels, because on many occasions, the batteries over a number of years, run down and don't charge very well, so you can be in a haste with a patient, turn the suction unit on and the suction only last for a few seconds. So always check it, always monitor it before you use it. In the vehicle, it will work fine because it's running off direct power off the vehicle, but again just check it just test it because when you need to use it you need to make sure it's working.

Starting from the one end, we have got the actual canister that holds any fluids or any liquid or blood that we suction out of the patient. Inside the canister, there is a throw-away sleeve, so when you take the lid off, the sleeve inside is disposed of clinically, safely. On the top, we have actually got the suction pipe. Again, it needs to be in place because it very easily comes away it needs to be in place and fixed to get the best suction from the unit itself. Also on the top of the canister is the actual suction area itself. We have a large pipe that shoves onto the top of there, leads down to the catheter which allows the suction to work properly.

Moving along, we have got the carrying handle for carrying it off the vehicle, and also behind the carrying handle you will see there is a release button when pressed to the wall, it releases the unit away from the wall and you can take it out of the vehicle. When it's in, make sure it's locked because the other thing you don't want it to do is to fall off the wall and drop on your patient.

Moving down. We have actually got the actual suction gauge itself when we turn the knob below the vacuum that we are creating can be increased or decreased by a turn of the knob. We are going to use less suction for things like children, or small areas that just think to be clear, we are gonna use high volume suction when we have got somebody with a severely occluded airway where we need to get rid of that fluid, that blood, that vomit, anything that we need to get away in speed, use the higher pressure. But if it's gentle and if it's children and small, drop it down.

We have also got the on-off button when depressed, the unit turns on. When pressed again, the unit turns back off again. And we have also got a battery gauge that tells us how much battery is left when the unit is taken off the vehicle. When the unit is running off mains power, the light is lit to say that it is running off mains power. So again, another button to check or another light to check. And through the front, is where we clip the actual suction pipe and the catheter mount. These are left in their packages, sterile and clean up until the point where we need them when they are broken open and set up. All of this is non-sterile, but the pipework that you are going to be using in the airway, that pipework needs to be kept as clean as possible so should not be unwrapped until the time we require it.

So when we take this unit off the wall and into a premise we should have everything we need fixed into the units ready to go. Once it's been used, it should be cleaned, it should be checked and it should be restocked and reloading back to recharge the batteries and to make sure that it's ready for the next patient.

One last thing, remember we have been talking and looking at suction units in the back of an ambulance but nursing homes, dentists, hospitals, care homes, will all have their own suction units, which may differ from the one we've been looking at. But they will all still follow the same routines they must be serviced they must be checked everything must be in working order on them. In the A&E department, the crash trolleys will be checked every time a new shift comes on and signed for to make sure that the batteries are charged. The leads are plugged in, everything is operational and ready to go. You do not have time to start floating around for bits and pieces in a crash situation, you need to have it all ready, ready to roll and all charged and fully operational. So remember, hospital environments might use different units, but they still follow the same procedures. And suction in the hospital is the same as suction in the street or such in the back of the vehicle.