As COVID-19, the virus that causes the novel coronavirus infection, continues to ravage the world, medical providers have had to change virtually everything about how they practice. Suctioning a patient is no exception. Providers once only had to weigh the risks and benefits of suctioning to the patient. Now they must also consider how suctioning might endanger their own health, and how it might imperil subsequent patients if they become infected.
Airway suctioning can generate dangerous aerosols that effectively transmit the virus. In emergency scenarios, Suction Assisted Laryngoscopy and Airway Decontamination (SALAD) may offer a lower-risk alternative to traditional airway suctioning.