Non sterile suctioning and infection?

Nurses General Nursing


I had a patient with a tracheostomy. Secretions were coming out of the inner cannula. I took the Yankeur suction device used to suction the mouth to try to suction the secretions without touching the cannula but accidentally the catheter went into the cannula. What are the chances of infection by this?

Specializes in Neuro, Telemetry.

The air, drool, germs from the trach shield, secretions that have been touching both the inner cannula and pt skin are all at the opening. Just having a trach leaves the pt at high risk of infections. The yankeur intentionally does not fit inside the trachs inner canulla. The most you could have done was touch just the outside. While not ideal, this doesn't increase the risk for infection any more then the secretions that were recently there. If you could fit the yankeur into the canulla then something is wrong. Either there was no inner canulla present or you were not using a yankeur.

It sounds like you need further education on trach care and the risks with trachs before you continue to care for them. If you know the how's and what's to a trach, you know what will and won't increase the risk of infections and you'll be better able to care for that trach.

Can't sugar coat this, that poses a huge risk of infection. The stoma is drawing air into the lungs which carries the pathogens in as well. Mouth bacteria getting into the lungs is a major cause of ventilator/trach associated pneumonia. Using a contaminated yank to suction even around the trach sets that patient up for infection. So yes, that was not the best thing to do. Please look up your facilities P&P and brush up on caring for the special needs of this type of patient.

Specializes in Home Health (PDN), Camp Nursing.

"It just went in" is a term for prom night not a professional. The oral suction should not have been near the trach. There is an obvious risk for infection. What are the chances of getting an infection...who could say. More than it was before, less if you don't do it again. So don't do that again. You can't un ring a bell. Learn and move on.

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