Question: The latest Base Hospital Memorandum from April 6th says we are to withhold suction via an endotracheal or tracheostomy tube unless using a closed system suction unit. Does this mean we are to withhold suction ONLY via endotracheal or tracheostomy tube? Can we suction an airway full of vomit or blood?
Thank you for the question. To clarify, the recommendations (here) say IN ALL CASES WITHHOLD --Suction via an endotracheal or tracheostomy tube unless using a closed system suction unit. So, you are correct that suctioning via the endotracheal and tracheostomy tube is what is being withheld. In patients without an ETT or tracheostomy tube, suctioning beyond the larynx is a controlled medical act and should not occur.
Suctioning of the oropharynx to remove vomitus or blood is not deemed to be an AGMP and can still occur. PPE should be in accordance to your Service policy.