Endotracheal Suctioning


Reviewed by Clinical Practice Committee
Novemeber 2015
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Complications of ET Suctioning

Frequency of Suctioning


ETT Size (mm) Suction Catheter Size
2.5 5-6 Fr
3.0 - 3.5 6-7 Fr
4.0 - 4.5 8 Fr

Nursing Management

Step Action


Auscultate lung fields.
  1. 2

Measure length required (just beyond tip of ET tube)
3 Check that the PIP (Babylog 8000)/ Pmax (VN500) is set at no more than 4 cmH2O above the given working inspiratory pressure (PIP)
4 Babylog 8000: consider to turn off VG prior to commencing suction.
VN500: Do NOT change ventilator settings and do NOT turn off VG
5 Silence ventilator alarms, remove flow sensor and reconnect circuit to ETT.
7 If the baby desaturates or it is anticipated that the baby will be unstable, escalate respiratory support as follows:


8 Gently suction oropharynx using a separate larger catheter.
9 Record colour, type, amount of secretions, baby’s tolerance of the procedure and ventilator setting required during suctioning on observation chart.
Note: Saline (NaCl 0.9%) instillation is only used if secretions are deemed to be thick and tenacious on individual assessment.