Patient Safety and the Hazards of Suctioning

Speaker Bill Lamb, BS, RRT, CPFT, FAARC Date Mar 6, 2014 1:05 PM

Improperly set vacuum regulators can expose patients to vacuum pressures up to 15 times higher than recommended pressures for suction procedures. Higher than recommended pressures can cause suction induced injury including lung derecruitment and tears to the delicate mucosal tissue in the stomach or trachea, leading to bleeding and potential infection. Research indicates that the prevention of suction-induced lung derecruitment is more clinically relevant than reversal of Acute Lung Injury or Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). Many clinicians, however, do not fully understand how they can help to prevent these complications through the proper use of vacuum regulators. This program discusses issues relative to suctioning and how the AARC Clinical Practice Guidelines help improve patient safety.

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