Secretion Clearance in Ventilated Patients

 Updated: April 1, 2020

  Tags: Current Topics


This episode of the Current Topics in Respiratory Care video series features Richard Branson, MSc, RRT, FAARC, presenting “Secretion Clearance in Ventilated Patients.”

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Among the consequences of intubation and mechanical ventilation are the untoward effects on secretion clearance. Standard of care management of secretion clearance includes humidification and suctioning of the airway to prevent atelectasis, improve ventilation and reduce the development of infection. This presentation covers the use of techniques to remove secretions by simulating a cough, physical techniques to mobilize secretions and new methods for maintaining the airway secretion free. Secretion clearance techniques should never be performed routinely, and the methods used to determine when secretion clearance is required will be reviewed. Management of secretions in the ventilated patient are the purview of the respiratory therapists, the person at the bedside with the knowledge to evaluate the need for secretion clearance, implement the best therapy and monitor the outcome.

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