What is an aspirator?
An aspirator, also called a suction machine, is an appliance that uses negative pressure to remove fluid from body cavities. Suction machines are commonly used by tracheostomy patients to clear the airway.
Suction machines create a vacuum effect to remove obstructions such as blood, saliva, mucus, vomit, or other liquids from the respiratory tract. Some signs that there is an obstruction include a wet cough, gasping, and wheezing. Many times, the patient cannot clear these secretions on their own. If the airway is not clear, breathing becomes very difficult. Failure to remove blockages can also lead to pulmonary aspiration, infection, and other complications.
Suction machines are used in hospitals, care facilities, and people's homes. Aspirators are available in both stationary and portable models. Stationary models are typically found in doctor’s offices and hospital settings. They can also be used by people who are confined to bed or their home. Portable models are available, which are smaller and more lightweight. Portable suction machines are powered by rechargeable batteries, making them convenient to use while traveling.
There are a few other supplies that are used along with the aspirator itself. These include suction catheters, filters, and collection containers. Suction catheters are hollow tubes with a special nozzle on the end that helps to extract fluid from the airway. The end with the nozzle is inserted into a trach tube, while the other end of the tubing connects to the aspirator. Suction machine filters trap bacteria and prevent it from entering the pump. The bacteria filters also stop liquids from flowing back up the tubing. Collection containers are clear canisters that hold the fluid that is removed from the airway. The lids have special connectors that the tubing fits into and some have measurements on the container to monitor the fluid level. Filters and collection canisters can be found in our suction machine parts section.