Can distilled water be used for suctioning trachs? - page 2

I use the pink bullets of sodium chloride to suction the trach now. However, it seems we are always low on these sodium chloride bullet supplies and the company won't send more supplies until the due date. Mom won't pay out of... Read More

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    What's up with the pink vials of NS in such short supply? I'm finding this to be a difficult thing to keep hold of and both our respiratory company and our pharmacy do not carry them. I had to explain over and over to the brother of one patient that those big jugs of saline are only sterile the first time you open and use it.

    Thanks for the home recipe link. I have boiled water before in home care if I had no bottles of sterile water, Blackcat. When we reuse the suction catheters and rinse the tubing in water more than once it isn't sterile anymore, either.
    Last edit by nursel56 on Aug 3, '10
    Blackcat99 likes this.

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    Quote from caliotter3
    found several links on an internet search. this link gives you a nice page that can be printed out to use for a patient handout sheet:
    i was just about to go looking for that!
    i had several clients back when i was doing peds private duty for who we did home-made ns. it's important the directions be followed exactly.

    we found that the glass bottles with metal caps that ready to feed infant formula came in were perfect for storage as they could be sterilized, probably hard to come by those these days.

    these would be about perfect (bpa free and can be sterilized repeatedly) and a dozen would hold around 32 ounces.
    Blackcat99 likes this.
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    Thanks all so very much for your advice and NS recipes. Yes, I will check into it and maybe make myself some normal saline for emergencies.
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    Update: I have started a new 2nd job now. I asked the nurse at the home, "Where is the normal saline for suctioning the trach?" She showed me two large cups. I asked her what was inside the two large cups and she said "tap water". I asked her a 2nd time about it because I couldn't believe it. She said "Fill these cups with tap water. We don't use normal saline here. We use tap water for suctioning the trach."
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    They use tap water where I work also. After working an LTC for so long, sometimes it's still hard for me to wrap my brain around the different standards for procedures and protocol. The risk of nosocomial infections is nearly a non-issue in a private home, plus families may not be financially able to replace supplies as frequently as a facility would. I feel better bc in a facility I'd constantly be bothered by all the waste, especially the non-recycled plastic.
    Not_A_Hat_Person and Blackcat99 like this.
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    You mean they use tap water to instill in the trach for lavage? Yeesh! We use clean cups and clean non-sterile water to rinse through the suction catheters and the Yankauers, though. I haven't yet had a family that used a brand new sterile suction catheter for each suctioning. As for the disposable plastics, I don't like them! I like the old school vent tubing - it's sturdier, easier to work with (not as stiff so easier to get patient comfortable). They last a long time if properly cared for.
    Blackcat99 likes this.
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    Thanks CloudySue and nursel56. OK. So I am not alone. They also use tap water at your job too. Yes, they use tap water to install in the trach for lavage. They use what looks like an orange foley catheter for suctioning. I haven't suctioned this child yet so that will be something new for me to try. The nurse said I suction the trach first, then the mouth and then the nose and then throw away the orange suction catheter.
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    No, just tap water for cleansing out the tube between suctions, is what I meant.
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    What type of catheter are you using and are you talking about saline for cleaning the catheter or saline for thinning secretions? If you need the saline to thin secretions, perhaps humidification is an option. Is the patient on fluid restriction?

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