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Thread: Suctioning

  1. #1


    My 28 yr old son is a c1-c2 vent dependent. I am staying with him tonite while his wife goes to be with her father in the hospital and he needed to be suctioned. When I did it a lot of yucky gunky stuff came up looking kind of pinkish like it may have sucked from his trachea. He said it does that a lot. He told me how far he wanted me to go down. Is this a serious problem...should a doctor look at it. He seems to be o.k. otherwise.
    Thanks Sandy

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Madison,Wisconsin, USA
    It is probably just irritation from being suctioned. Make sure that that you are not suctioning on the way down the tube, just at the bottom of the pass. Do it quickly so the hole on the suctioning tube doesn't get attached to the passages, just the "gunk". Do you use saline to irrigate with the suctioning?

  3. #3
    I don't suction on the way down, but my son tells me how far to go down..and I suction all the way up twisting slightly as I go..and he tells me to go slowly and I thought I remember the nurses doing it rather slowly when they did DID feel like I had somewhat attached to something inside and that's when I thought I was sucking the side of his trachea...esophogus..whatever you call it...I didn't use saline first to irrigate..I remember one of the RT's in rehab saying that irritated the area and not to use it too much. I just used it to clean the tube when I was done. I asked his wife when she came home about it and she said it has been doing that for a while lately..she thinks it is because they were using a longer catheter and it caused irritation. The one I used was shorter...she also said they have an appointment with his pulmonary doc next week and will ask about it. I just don't know if something like that heals on its own or if there is a treatment for it or what???

  4. #4
    Pink tinged is not uncommon, just slight irritation but monitor it and if it becomes more blood tinged it might be a problem, especially if he is on anticoagulation.


  5. #5
    What I didn't like about it is it seemed to have so much gunk..and I wouldn't call it flemn or whatever..this looked like tissue...

  6. #6
    Recent studies indicate a significantly higher rate of pneumonia and other pulmonary infections when the trach is irrigated with suctioning. If secretions are too thick, then humidification systems need to be adjusted, or the person is dehydrated. Don't be tempted to put saline (or any other solution) down the trach.

    If you need a review of suctioning technique, cover this with his home care nurse or respiratory therapist.


  7. #7
    Again..I don't really think the main source of what I sucked out was was really thick and pinkish. He has a humidifier attached to his vent at night but during the day he has a small attachment with his speaking valve that uses his own moisture to recycle moisture into his lungs.sometimes his wife adds moisture to the little foam type insert.

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