Figure 4-1. Suction apparatus. A Wall (fixed) unit. B Portable unit.
(3) "Y" connectors (if applicable). "Y" connectors/ adapters are needed if
the suction catheters do not have suction ports.
d. Identify the Patient. When you have orders to suction a patient, verify the
patient's identity to make sure that you perform the procedure on the correct patient.
(1) If the patient is conscious, ask him his name and check his bed card and
hospital identification bracelet.
(2) If the patient is unconscious, check the name on the bed card and on the
hospital identification bracelet. Make sure that the name is the same on the card and
In a field situation, check the patient's ID card or "dog tags."
e. Explain the Procedure. Explain the suctioning procedure to the patient to
f. Provide Privacy. Place a screen or curtain around the patient's area or close
the door if the patient is in a room.
g. Position the Patient. Place the patient in a semi-Fowler's position. This
position is a semi-sitting position in which the patient manages secretions better and
breathes easier. In some cases (such as spinal injuries), the patient will have to be
suctioned without being moved.