Suctioning mouth with the same catheter used to suction lungs?!?!

  1. 0
    Ok tell me if im the only one who's totally grossed out by this!

    I take care of a woman with a trach/vent, etc...so she had to go to the hospital last week and while i was there I myself (and another caregiver on a seperate occasion) saw the nurse deep suction her lungs AND then use the same suction catheter, stick it in her mouth and use it to suction oral secretions EWWW im just a nursing student but i thought it was wrong...would you want your lung secretions in your mouth? plus she had a lung infection too so it was even more disgusting. Its called a Yankaeur for a reason!

    ahhh just a vent here....

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 16 Comments...

  3. 0
    Not sure just what you saw but a yankaeur will not go down a trach into the lungs. A suction cathereter will and it is ok to suction the mouth after the lungs. You are going from clean to dirty.

    What do you think is in your mouth when you cough, if not lung secretions?
  4. 0
    Quote from muhaha
    ...would you want your lung secretions in your mouth? ....
    Lol, what do you think all those secretions in your mouth are from???



    My suction catheter is connected to the ETT, so I can't use it to suction the mouth. But otherwise, I see nothing wrong with it...

    BTW, a Yankaeur cannot go into the lungs. At best, it's possible to push it into the top of the trachea, but that's never done.
  5. 0
    The catheters (usually a 12 French) are single use, so I don't see the problem using them for one round of suctioning -- first deep suctioning, then oral cavity. As another poster said, you're going from clean to dirty. The Yankeur would be used for the oral cavity only.
  6. 0
    no it was a suction catheter used...not a yankaeur lol (i was saying that the yankaeur should have been used). well if I had a lung infection i wouldnt want the suction catheter used in my mouth again personally if the yankauer is sitting there available. I know its the same secretions but the catheter actually goes into your lungs. meh maybe it was just me that thought it was gross lol
    Last edit by student456 on Aug 17, '07
  7. 0
    As has been said, what's in your lungs makes its way to your mouth.
  8. 0
    ok ok i guess im the minority here lol
  9. 0
    The Yankaeur is filthy too, and if fact, is rarely single use. I'd rather not have a Yankaeur in my mouth actually.
  10. 0
    As far as nursing practice is concerned it is perfectly OK. But personally if I were suctioning my own lungs, I would want to switch to a oral swab dipped in peppermint mouth wash for my oral secrestions, and that is what I do for my patients as well!! So I can see where you are coming from!!! The fact that it would taste like nasty lung secretions coming in from outside my mouth, instead of up directly from my lungs does make it seem especially gross!!!


    :uhoh21::uhoh21::uhoh21:
  11. 1
    The worst part about a lung transplant? Coughing up someone else's sputum!

    But, with a trach, I would suppose that a 14 Fr suction catheter would be used for deep lung suctioning. I am now in surgery, but whenever I have witnessed trach suctioning, it was with a new, sterile flex. catheter. In surgery (patients w/out trach), if deep suctioning is done, the catheter MUST pas through the mouth to get deep. It's just anatomy. Do you think that air is magically sterilized as you inhale? There's a differemce between sterile, clean, and dirty.
    edgwow likes this.


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top