This is something I have never from suctioning??????

Nurses General Nursing


Hey all u wonderful smiling ppl you!!

Got a question for you...

Anyone ever heard of getting ca from using suction caths to suction a trach? This is what a HH cl. had said...Has me curious...

I did not say anything to her... abided by her wishes....

Nurse Ratched, RN

2,149 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics/Oncology/Psych/College Health.

Good morning back atcha! :)

To answer your question: ummmm - no........

I'd be very interested in hearing where she got this idea (maybe she's confusing Barrett's esophagus?)


258 Posts

She told me the irritation from the catheters/scratches can cause ca... supposedly a doctor told her this....In the back of my mind..i was thinking.."what in the h$$^%^?

renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

Never heard that one before. Hmmmmm. I too would like to know the source of information so I could research it.


ktwlpn, LPN

3,844 Posts

Specializes in LTC,Hospice/palliative care,acute care.

What is an HH cl? A "home health" something? I have never heard of that-but chronic idigestion can damage the esophagus and lead to ca-maybe the irritation from the catheter would,too?


258 Posts

home health approved abbreviation... sorry abot the confusion


145 Posts

Gotta admit I'm not the sharpest pencil in the box, but as I see it that would be a stretch. If you are consistantly causing abraisions, those could end up leaving scar tissue. Under some extreme conditions those can become fibroid tumors, and those, left untended could theoretically become cancerous. So the short answer would be "yes", it could cause cancer.

The next question is: How high is the likelyhood?

- Well, sunlight causes skin cancer. How many people really end up with skin ca.? - A few get lesions, and a few of those actually get ca. Right? Be sure to look at that in perspective. How many millions of us live in worship of the sun vs. how many of us get ca. Not all that many.

The odds against it are very high.

Possible, Yes. Likely, No.

Just my $0.02 Take it for what it's worth.

ken :devil:


66 Posts

working with trach/vent kiddos on a reg. basis, and pulmonologists, i have Never heard of this.....i guess many granulomas/abrasions if left untreated, and lots of scar tissue then maybe but not very likely. the kids i work with have been trached their entire/almost entire give/take a few days/hours lives and i have seen some long term pts who have since been decanulated and r perfectly fine/ normal healthy kiddos!! would really be interested in seeing the source of this info.

canoehead, BSN, RN

6,856 Posts

Specializes in ER.

Sure, there could be a small risk from the irritation of the catheter, but if you assume that you are suctioning to get something out, then there is irritation from the secretions too. So it's a risk/benefit thing. Let me see...can't breathe now vrs cancer in 20 years...

You 'd think we suctioned people only to amuse ourselves.


258 Posts

That's what I thought too..OK here's my dilemma...How can I convince mom it's OK to suction her child? SHE is PUTTING HER FOOT DOWN....on this issue...

I tried to say something to the effct that we wanted to avoid mucus plugs... she looked at me like..."Don't even go there" I dropped it.... I know I should be more diligent... but these are parents that...well let's just say..if u argue with are out the door.............................

canoehead, BSN, RN

6,856 Posts

Specializes in ER.

I would go along with her, but insist on a point where suctioning is acceptable like when there are visible secretions coming out, gurgling, or increased work of breathing. Times like that I find I get more success when I say right up front "This is your child so it's your decision, but I want to make sure you've got both sides before you make the decision" Then explain your view- you'll probably get a compromise that way.

RN auditor

42 Posts

It was once explained to me by a gastroenterologist that inthe case of reflux and esophageal irritation, the irritated area can fill in with a different kind of cell (like that from the stomach). and since the different kind of cell is out of its element, can turn into precancerous lesions such as Barretts esophagus. If this is true, I could see a very remote chance that suctioning and therefore irritation could lead to lesions. However, the benefits of suctioning do outweigh the risks. Has the physician explained the necessity of suctioning?

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