This How to module provides nurses with information on how to perform open tracheal suction via an endotracheal tube.
Tracheal suction involves the removal of pulmonary secretions from the respiratory tract using negative pressure under sterile conditions. Practitioners should be aware of the indications for, and risks associated with, open tracheal suction via an endotracheal tube.
Respiratory assessment of the patient should be carried out to identify when tracheal suction is required.
A suction pressure of 80-120mmHg is recommended, and suction should last no longer than 15 seconds.
Reassurance and support should be given to the patient to minimise any discomfort and distress that might result from tracheal suction.