At SSCOR, we pride ourselves on providing suction that lasts — both in our devices’ consistent performance during each use and the machines’ long lifecycles.
Each of those characteristics are enhanced with routine maintenance, of course. Emergency medical personnel are well aware their equipment must remain as close to new condition as possible — and, not to mention, sanitized.
As we mark the end of September’s National Preparedness Month, here’s a quick guide to maintaining your suction devices and equipment, as well as the environments where they are stored.
If a hospital is not maintained well, chances are its equipment won’t be, either. Particularly today, sanitization practices are crucial to halt the transmission of infectious diseases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a long list of resources for mitigating infectious diseases in a range of medical facilities, as well as information on specific pathogens.
There is also a best practices guide for environmental cleaning in resource-limited settings, which may be valuable at a time when medical facilities have been stressed and a labor shortage is affecting organizations everywhere.
Suction devices are among the most important pieces of equipment found in ambulances, as patients suffering from emergencies often require immediate airway treatment to clear out particles or fluids.
Of course, an ambulance crew must get to their destination before performing any care. That means the vehicles require regular maintenance, from run-of-the-mill items (checking tires, brakes, fluids, etc.) to more specific features (checking stretcher systems, doors, battery connections, sirens, etc.). The pandemic, obviously, added extra recommendations to these maintenance steps (see the CDC’s EMS guidance here).
For more tips, check out our article on ways to enhance ambulance safety.
- The basics: A big part of maintenance is preparation and organization. Portable units should be regularly charged, with a full battery ready for each shift, or if the unit takes disposable batteries (like our SSCOR DCell Suction), they should be relatively fresh. Test the unit regularly to ensure it is giving consistent suction — lower suction may be a sign of a low battery. To keep a close eye on your device’s performance, order a SSCOR Aspirator Test Kit for free.
Additionally, ensure the proper tubing and catheters are stored with the unit, so when the device is needed, users aren’t scrambling to find a missing piece.
- Cleaning: Before cleaning a suction device, be sure it is disconnected from power sources and batteries are removed when cleaning the interior of the chassis. Disinfectant wipes should then be used on all outer surfaces of the unit, with the aim of killing any pathogens or germs that were spread to the device. Sanitize the device after each use and discard all disposable parts, including the canister, tubing and catheters.