Suction machine for removing secretions from the airways

The respiratory muscles have two purposes: ensure proper breathing and generate coughs that can expel secretions from the respiratory system.

When the respiratory muscles are unable to ensure enough spontaneous breathing, mechanical ventilation can assist or replace them. However, any failure to expel secretions from the respiratory system can lead to a situation where the patient’s life is at risk.

Some illnesses can cause a retention of secretions in the airways, due to a significant increase in the amount of secretion or because the respiratory muscles are struggling to expectorate them.

Some treatments can stabilise or boost lung function, increase tolerance to exercise, reduce the impact of pneumonia and associated hospitalisations, increase patient satisfaction and adherence to treatment, and cut healthcare costs.

Some patients may need and benefit from a special system for handling secretions. Below is a list of these patients:

  • Patients with neuromuscular disorders.
  • Patients who have had a lung transplant.
  • Patients with a tracheotomy.
  • Patients with a lot of secretions, due to cystic fibrosis, for example.

What is airway suctioning?

Airway suctioning consists of removing respiratory secretions from the airways using a suction machine designed for this purpose.

When these secretions are eliminated, the airways stay permeable. This facilitates pulmonary gas exchange and prevents pneumonia, which can be caused by the accumulation of these secretions.

Airway suctioning treatment is for patients who cannot expel their pulmonary secretions because they have muscular dystrophy, myasthenia gravis, polio or any other neurological disorder that causes paralysis of the respiratory muscles (for example, a spinal cord injury). It can also be used in the treatment of an ineffective cough due to other illnesses, such as emphysema, cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis.

Airway suctioning at home avoids the need for hospitalisation due to obstruction caused by an accumulation of mucus and helps to improve the patient’s quality of life.

The secretions can be drained through two techniques:

  • A high-frequency chest wall oscillation system.
  • A mechanically assisted coughing system (mechanical insufflation-exsufflation).

What types of treatment are available?

Today, the healthcare professionals of OXIGEN salud can install one of two types of machine in the patient’s home for airway suctioning purposes:

  • Stationary suction machine: has a greater suction capacity but requires a constant electricity supply.
  • Portable suction machine: offers total mobility thanks to internal batteries and can be powered by a vehicle’s electrical system.

OXIGEN salud will install the equipment needed for this treatment once notified by the prescribing clinician. The company will guarantee a constant supply of the disposables and accessories required for the therapy, as well as carry out technical inspections and follow-up visits to ensure effective treatment for the patient.

Airway suctioning resources

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