Suctioning vent patients

  1. What are some of your opinions on the routine suctioning(ie:q 2-3hrs) of patients on ventilators? Do you routinely suction because it is "policy" or do you only suction when needed. We are having a mild ongoing controversey at my hospital about this, and I would like some of your thoughts. Thanks for any insight any of you can offer.
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    About willie2001

    Joined: Apr '01; Posts: 117; Likes: 18


  3. by   NicuGal
    In our unit, and thru most of the other units now, we have adopted an as needed protocal...and then the careplans reflect how often the patient usually needs it. Routine suctioning isn't a great idea...loss of O2 and cilia can be damaged, and just plain trauma if people aren't careful suctioning. It took a while to get this far in our hospital....good luck!
  4. by   NRSKarenRN
    1977: Suction q 2-3 hrs
    1987: Suction as needed
  5. by   PhantomRN
    we do prn suctioning as well, however we pass off to the next nurse how often it is needed ie q 1, 2 or 4 hours.
  6. by   Zee_RN
    Definitely AS NEEDED. I don want to traumatize a patient by suctioning more than is needed; it sucks up 02 and is just plain nasty for them. Some patients may need it every 2 hours; some are DRY. I was taught that it is old school to suction every 2 hours routinely (and that was 1995).
  7. by   frann
    Prn definately.
    They need to learn to cough that junk up.
  8. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    Do you mean page respiratory PRN, or do you really sx?

    I've wondered how much the atmosphere has changed in the ten years I've been away. I can remember being called off of other routine care to do in-line sx!
    If it was NT sx the nurses wouldn't go near that. I would be called "stat" for that crap.


    PRN is the way to go with sx. B/S are loud and clear on a vent. If you hear rales, sx. If you don't hear anything...........bag 'em!...LOl
  9. by   Zee_RN
    I would never page respiratory to suction a ventilated patient. That's just silly. If they need suctioned, I suction them. I will also NT suction a patient if necessary, although it's certainly not one of my favorite things to do . That's all part of ICU nursing.
  10. by   mustangsheba
    Prn suctioning is the norm everywhere I've worked. This is my least favorite thing to do not only because it stimulates my gag reflex but because it is the lesser of two evils for the patient.
  11. by   frann
    No, I meant to suction prn as needed. not paige resp. to come suction. If they are on the vent, its so easy. Its all in line. Easy.
  12. by   PhantomRN
    Oh I would never call RT to just come and suction someone, whether it was an inline or trach.....I think all nurses are more than capable to suction.
  13. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    I wish there were more nurses like you when I was a tech.

    Can you imagine being called from a couple of floors away for that?

    Seriousely, It happened at five different hospitals throughout my short-lived respiratory career so I don't think it was as much of an anomaly as it is to you now. In the early 90's respiratory as a "profession" was CTD anyway.

    Sorry to butt into the conversation there. I just had to comment.