View Entire Collection
By Clinical Topic
Diabetes – Summer 2012
Future of Nursing Initiative
Heart Failure - Fall 2011
Influenza - Winter 2011
Nursing Ethics - Fall 2011
Trauma - Fall 2010
Traumatic Brain Injury - Fall 2010
Fluids & Electrolytes
When necessary to clear secretions, some nurses in my unit suction endotracheal tubes for up to 15 seconds. I say that's too long-suctioning should be limited to 10 seconds. What do the experts say? -L.N., TEX.
As you know, suctioning should be performed only as needed because it can trigger dysrhythmias and other serious problems in critically ill patients. Two respected nursing textbooks endorse suctioning for up to 15 seconds. But you're wise to minimize risks if you can adequately clear secretions in 10 seconds or less. Also follow accepted standards and guidelines for preventing ventilator-associated pneumonia as recommended by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses and other authorities. For example:
* keep the head of the bed elevated to 30[degrees] to 45[degrees] unless contraindicated
* for patients expected to be intubated for more than 48 hours, use an endotracheal tube with a dorsal lumen above the cuff to allow drainage of secretions that accumulate in the subglottic area by continuous suctioning.
AACN Practice Alert: Ventilator-associated Pneumonia, Issued February 2004, revised January 2008, AACN, http://www.aacn.org; Brunner & Suddarth's Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing, 11th edition, Lippincott Williams & Wilkens, 2008; Fundamentals of Nursing, 6th edition, Mosby, Inc., 2005.
Sign up for our free enewsletters to stay up-to-date in your area of practice - or take a look at an archive of prior issues
Join our CESaver program to earn up to 100 contact hours for only $34.95
Explore a world of online resources
Back to Top