Suction | Peeps | HIE Awareness & Support




Suctioning is where excess secretions are removed, from the nose (nasal cavity), mouth, throat or trachea. A suction machine is used. In hospital these are often fixed to the wall, but you can also have mobile ones that can be carried about. A catheter (a thin flexible plastic tube) is most commonly used for nasal suction. A Yankauer (a fixed plastic tube) is more commonly used for clearing secretions in the mouth.

You may realise your child needs suction by seeing their sats (oxygen levels) go down, by hearing gurgling or bubbling noises, or by seeing your child having difficulty in clearing secretions. Always ask questions of the doctors and nurses looking after you, so you learn as you go along.

Healthcare professionals can train parents/carers to carry out suction. It can feel a little daunting at first, but soon becomes second nature.

You can read more about the different types of suction here.

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