I'm a student nurse in my second semester of school, and I'm a little stumped on continuous versus intermittent suctioning. I was taught to always use intermittent in class, and the nurses on my unit say to use intermittent, because it decreases the risk of damaging the airway. However, when I used intermittent suctioning in front of a respiratory therapist, she told me to always use continuous because it's more effective, and every other respiratory therapist I've talked to agrees.
So, now I have to change my method depending on who is watching me!
I've found two articles on the topic (references below). Glass and Grap say to use continuous, as there's no evidence that intermittent reduces trauma. Czarnik et al. found that both methods were equally damaging to the airways of dog, but they were using suction pressures of 200 mmHg...
What do you think? Which do you use, and why? Have you found one to be more effective/damaging?
I'm going to write a paper on this for my theory class, so I'd love to get as many opinions as possible!
Glass, C., & Grap, M. (1995). Ten tips for safe suctioning. American Journal of Nursing
Czarnik, R., Stone K., Everhart, Jr. C., and Preusser, B. (1991). Different effects of continuous versus intermittent suction on tracheal tissue. Heart and Lung