An emergency aspirator makes it easy to quickly suction patients in an emergency. Rather than relying on traditional wall-mounted suction, an emergency aspirator uses a rechargeable battery. This empowers medical providers to tend to patients wherever they find them, without the need to delay treatment for transport.
An emergency aspirator is a vital part of your toolkit. There are no absolute contraindications to using an emergency aspirator, and they can reduce morbidity and mortality in a variety of respiratory emergencies. Despite this, some first responders are reluctant to suction patients who are not in an emergency or obvious crisis. However, this reluctance can cost patients their lives. To help alleviate this reluctance, here are some of the more common scenarios in which your emergency aspirator can help save lives.
Inability to Clear Airway
A number of conditions—from neurological injuries to respiratory trauma—can make it difficult for a patient to clear their own airway. This increases their risk of aspiration, infection, and other serious issues. When a patient has a raspy cough, hoarse voice, or says breathing is difficult and they cannot clear their airway, an emergency aspirator can help.
Aspiration pneumonia is a serious medical emergency that claims the lives of at least five percent of people hospitalized for the condition. It is essential to suction patients who show signs of aspiration, such as continuous vomiting or bleeding from the airway. An emergency aspirator can also help prevent aspiration in patients at high risk, such as those with dysphagia, a spinal cord injury, or a recent drowning episode.
Suspected or Confirmed Airway Obstruction
An emergency aspirator is the fastest option for clearing an airway obstruction. Moving a patient to a hospital room with a wall-mounted suction unit wastes precious time. If a patient cannot breathe, severe brain damage can be a potential result. An emergency aspirator allows you to remove the obstruction without needless delays.
Patients on ventilators need frequent suctioning, including when there are waveform changes on the ventilator, or when the ventilator shows pressure or volume changes. First responders at long-term care facilities or homes where patients use ventilators can more quickly respond to these patients’ needs if they use an emergency aspirator. Emergency suction may even eliminate the need to transport the patient. This can improve outcomes in medically fragile ventilated patients, for whom transport may be stressful and increase the risk of exposure to harmful pathogens.
Surgical suction reduces the risk of aspiration and allows for quick intervention in the unlikely event that a patient does aspirate. Emergency suction units can help a wide range of practices—including dental offices and outpatient surgery centers—be better prepared with the right suction equipment, and can also empower large hospitals to tend to more patients at once.
Preventing Aerosolization of Respiratory Particles
The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn attention to the need to be more vigilant about contagious pathogens. However, when a pandemic has killed millions of people across the globe, handwashing and masks just aren’t enough—particularly if you work with vulnerable populations who have other respiratory risk factors. Suctioning patients during interventions such as dental procedures can reduce the number of aerosolized particles in the air, potentially slowing the spread of COVID-19 and saving lives.
The right emergency aspirator ensures consistent, safe suction for every patient you treat. It is not enough to just throw an aspirator in your emergency kit—you need a quality unit that can continuously deliver exceptional suction. For help finding the right suction machine for your agency, download our free guide, The Ultimate Guide to Purchasing a Portable Emergency Suction Device.