For those of you who have worked in the field of EMS for several decades, you can attest to the radical changes that have taken place in equipment over the years. Patient compartments are better designed, equipment is more sophisticated, and computer technology has greatly improved patient care, report writing, and access to reference information.
Portable suction units have also come a long way. For the veterans in the field, I’m sure they can harken back to a time when suction units were cumbersome, unreliable, and expensive. And yet suction is one of the most critical treatment options in respiratory emergencies. Let’s face it, nothing can replace a suction unit when you need it.
Fortunately, today’s portable suction units are just as high-tech as our cardiac monitors. So let’s take a look at the vast improvements that have been made when it comes to reliable and effective suction.
A new age in portable suction
Portable suction units have vastly improved over the years in several ways:
- Technology: Technological improvements mean more efficient and effective suction units, designed for any type of respiratory emergency.
- Portability: Better technology means more lightweight components, making today’s suction units smaller and more portable than ever.
- Cost: There are now units designed for every niche and budget, so that all EMS systems can benefit from affordable and effective suction units.
- Durability: Thanks to improvements in materials, portable suction units are more durable, able to withstand the punishing environments of emergency response.
- Selection: It’s no longer one size fits all; today there is a wide range of units to choose from, depending on your needs and your budget.
- Power: Power options exist! You can chose a portable suction device powered by rechargeable batteries, off the shelf alkaline batteries or, in some cases, defibrillator batteries.
- Accessories: With several suction tips to choose from, you’ll always have the right unit for the job, no matter what you encounter in the field.
Preventive care for your suction unit
Once you’ve chosen the appropriate portable suction unit, be sure to take good care of it. Here are a few important reminders:
- Make sure your batteries are charged.
- Test your unit at the beginning of each shift.
- Keep your unit clean, including its mechanical components.
- Be sure to disinfect after each use.
The right tool for the job
No matter what type of EMS system you work in or what type of emergency to which you respond, today’s portable suction units are better designed and equipped to meet all your needs. Now you just have to decide which unit is right for you.