Glossary Entry: Suction Catheter


Definition: A suction catheter is a medical device used to remove secretions from the airway in patients who are unable to clear their airways independently. It is commonly used in respiratory care to prevent complications such as pneumonia.

Detailed Description

Types and Variations

Variations: Suction catheters come in various sizes and designs, including open and closed suction systems. These variations cater to different patient needs and clinical settings.


Common Uses: Suction catheters are commonly used in patients who are intubated or have a tracheostomy to remove mucus and secretions from the airway, preventing airway obstruction.

Insertion and Placement

Procedure: When using a suction catheter, it is essential to follow proper insertion techniques and ensure appropriate placement within the airway to effectively remove secretions without causing trauma.

Clinical Considerations

Potential Complications

Risks: Potential risks associated with suction catheter use include tissue trauma, mucosal damage, and hypoxemia if the procedure is not performed correctly.

Care and Maintenance

Maintenance Requirements: Proper care and maintenance of suction catheters involve regular cleaning and disinfection to prevent the risk of infection and ensure the device’s optimal performance.

Additional Information

Related Devices

Associated Terms: Suction catheters are often used in conjunction with suction systems, collection canisters, and suction tubing for comprehensive airway management.

Innovations and Advancements

Recent Developments: Recent advancements in suction catheter design and materials have focused on improving flexibility, reducing the risk of tissue trauma, and enhancing suction efficiency.

Regulatory and Safety Notes

Regulations: Healthcare professionals must follow established protocols and guidelines for the safe and effective use of suction catheters to ensure patient safety and regulatory compliance.