Immediate Life Support (ILS)- Healthcare

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Using a suction unit

Video 34 of 95
4 min 15 sec
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Using Electronic Suction Unit for Airway Management

Setting Up the Electronic Suction Unit

In this section, we will guide you through the process of setting up and using an electronic or battery-powered suction unit for airway management during emergencies.

  1. Preparing the Suction Unit: Start by removing the suction pipe from the unit and attaching it securely.
  2. Powering On: Turn on the suction unit to initiate the suction process. Adjust the suction strength as needed, especially in situations like cardiac arrest with airway occlusion due to fluids.
  3. Commencing Suction: Proceed to suction the airway efficiently and swiftly. Ensure that you only insert the suction catheter as far as you can see and use a sweeping motion. The goal is to clear the airway promptly.

Using the Suction Catheter

Utilizing the suction catheter correctly is crucial for effective airway clearance. Follow these steps:

  1. Airway Preparation: Open the patient's airway and maintain it using your palm.
  2. Catheter Insertion: Carefully insert the suction catheter into the back of the throat, only going as far as you can see.
  3. Efficient Suctioning: Begin suctioning with a sweeping motion, minimizing the duration to clear the airway swiftly.

Remember that suction catheters vary in size and length, with specific purposes. Note that some catheters feature a notch to prevent solids from blocking the suction, making them suitable for fluids, blood, and small debris. Larger obstructions may require a catheter with a larger diameter. Tailor your choice to the situation, considering airway devices like OP or nasal airways.

Special Considerations for Children

When dealing with paediatric patients, be aware of their smaller, more delicate airways. Children's airways are prone to swelling and obstruction, and their anatomy differs from adults. Keep these factors in mind when performing airway management and suctioning.

Cleaning and Disposal

After completing suctioning and ensuring a clear and patent airway, follow these steps for cleaning and disposal:

  1. Emptying the Suction Pipe: Turn on the unit, detach the catheter pipe, and allow it to drain any residual fluid. Then, remove the pipe.
  2. Disposing of Bio-Hazardous Material: Place all used pipework and the canister, which contains potentially hazardous materials, into a bio-hazard bag for proper disposal.
  3. Unit Cleaning: Wipe down the suction unit, including all pipes and buttons, to eliminate any potential contamination. Sterilize the unit and components as needed.

Always remember to wear gloves when handling bio-hazardous materials in real-life scenarios to ensure safety.