Suction Unit / Sucker Machine (2023)

What Is a Suction Unit/Sucker Machine?

A suction unit/sucker machine, also known as an aspirator, is a type of medical device that is used to remove obstructions from a person’s airway, such as mucus, saliva, blood, or secretions. Suction devices help people breathe by maintaining a clean airway when they are unable to discharge secretions owing to a lack of consciousness or an ongoing medical procedure.

When a patient’s airway is partially or totally clogged, care professionals employ suction machines as a vital part of their treatment approach.

The History of the Suction Unit/Sucker Machine/Aspirator

The first conventional suction/aspirator was introduced by a cardiologist named Pierre Carl Edouard Potain in 1869. His aspirator was a manual machine that used a pump to drain abscesses and fluid buildup in the chest, with the goal of preventing heart failure. When electricity became commonplace and reliable, suction machines transitioned from manual devices to electrically powered devices. However, until the late 1970s, aspirators were extremely large and were often permanently affixed to a wall.

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Many different types of aspirators were developed over time. Several types of suction equipment are now available for hospitals and patients to use.

Some common uses include:

When a patient is unable to breathe, respiratory secretions are removed.

Assisting a patient who is vomiting and has gone into convulsions or is unconscious.

Clearing blood from the airway

Taking anything out of a patient’s windpipe or lungs (pulmonary aspiration)

Suction Unit be used in concert with other medical technologies to treat a number of life-threatening illnesses. Given their pervasiveness, queries about their uses and functions are prevalent.

Manual Suction Unit/Sucker Machine:

Manual Suction Unit does not use electricity, and their design can be as simple as a handheld bulb that’s used to expel mucus from a child’s nasal cavity. They’re often used in emergency settings since they don’t require electricity to function and are usually small and portable. However, it is difficult to use manual suction unit consistently and effectively over a long period of time.

Stationary suction machines;

Stationary machines were the most prevalent machines for decades because they were reliable, effective, and consistent. Their lack of portability, on the other hand, left a lot to be desired. A stationary suction machine could not treat patients during travel and could only give emergency care within a hospital.

Portable Suction Unit/Sucker Machines;

Because of advancements in aspirator and battery technology, portable suction machines are becoming more common. Patients and medical personnel will benefit from portable suction devices because they are lightweight and easy to move or transfer.

In today’s healthcare environment, manual, fixed, and portable suction machines all have a purpose. Each has its own set of advantages, and medical practitioners may use a variety of suction machines at different times throughout treatment.

Common Uses of Suction Unit/Sucker Machines:

When a patient has a liquid or semi-solid obstruction in their pharynx, trachea, or other oral canals, suction machines are frequently used. However, depending on a patient’s condition, the best suction equipment may differ. Here are a few circumstances in which a portable suction machine could be useful to patients or professionals.

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Ongoing Patient Care;

Patients who are unable to clear their own secretions for a number of reasons may require portable suction equipment at home. Patients getting palliative care who find it difficult or impossible to clear their own secretions, people with chronic illnesses (COPD, ALS, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, etc.), and people who have had a tracheostomy are all examples of this.


In a pre-hospital scenario, portable suction unit are particularly prevalent since they assist emergency personnel in establishing ABC (airway, breathing, and circulation). Pre-hospital providers frequently use portable suction equipment to treat a range of patients in practice. This includes trauma victims who have blood in their airway, overdose victims who have vomit in their airway, and other victims who have a respiratory emergency.


The majority of hospitals feature rooms with stationary, wall-mounted suction devices. Standard treatments such as tracheostomies, sinus-related diseases, and tonsillectomies frequently include the use of stationary aspirators.

Hospitals, on the other hand, frequently keep a few portable devices on hand for specific applications. If a patient requires suction unit but no wall-mounted aspirator is available in the patient’s room, the care team will search for and acquire a portable suction unit rather than transferring the patient to another room. When hospitals are overburdened, they’re also employed to treat patients outside of a room.

Types of Suction Unit/Sucker Machine:

Different types of suction units were developed over time. Several types of suction equipment are now available in market.

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How Portable Suction Machines Work?

Negative pressure is generated by portable suction equipment and funneled through a single-use catheter, which is a unique sort of plastic connecting tube. A vacuum effect is created by the negative pressure, which pushes any blood, mucus, or other fluids out of the throat. The fluids are then discharged into a collection container automatically.

Portable suction machines rely on a few fundamental technologies to generate negative pressure and remove secretions. Here’s a rundown of the most common parts of a suction machine.

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Disposable or Rechargeable Batteries;

Some of suction unit/sucker machines are equipped with powerful batteries to ensure that they can suction even when there is no consistent power supply available.

Suction/Vacuum Pump;

The vacuum pump is frequently found within the aspirator. This is what produces negative pressure and is required for a suction machine to work properly.

Connection Tubing;

The vacuum pump is connected to the collection canister through this tube. It should never come into contact with the contents of the collection canister.

Sterile Patient Tubing;

The suctioning tip is connected to the patient tube, which transports the patient’s secretions to the collection canister. After each suctioning session, sterile patient tubing should be appropriately disposed of.

Disposable Canister;

The disposable canister collects the patient’s secretions and often has overflow protection in case too much fluid is suctioned out. To guarantee that all parts of the suction machine remain sterile, this canister should be disposable.

Power Cord;

When you’re close to a power outlet, you can charge your portable suction machine with the included power cord.


To prevent contamination of the aspirator’s inner components, a disposable canister should ideally support the use of bacteria/viral filters. Filters may also be employed to protect the equipment from dust and harmful gases that can cause damage.

Activate the machine once all components have been accounted for and applied. Users can choose between continuous and intermittent suction modes and regulate the suction level to guarantee that all secretions are removed.

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How to Set Up a Portable Suction Machine:

Before using a suction machine, make sure you’ve had proper training and that you’ve read the original product instructions that came with your suction machine. Because different aspirator models have distinct characteristics, only an official product manual can give you the most accurate instructions.

Make sure you have a few essential materials while preparing the suction machine for operation. The suction machine may not function properly if certain components are not present.

A disposable collection canister.

Connective tube from the aspirator to the canister.

Patient tubing (also known as the aspirator circuit).

A suction catheter or surgical suction accessory (the appropriate accessory depends on the procedure).

Spill control solidifiers are used to dispose of liquid biohazards in a safe manner.

Any other items that are needed for the treatment and have been approved by the device manufacturer.

Prepare the machine for usage once you have all of the necessary pieces to start the suctioning operation. Inspecting the outside components, such as the power cord, for any defects or damages is the first step in the basic procedure of setting up a suction machine. Connect the aspirator to a power source and lock the power cable into place by aligning the cord’s connecter with the triangles on the machine if everything is in working order. If you don’t have access to a power source, make sure the machine is completely charged before using it.

Connect the suction machine to the collection canister and tubing. Begin by pressing hard on the full circumference of the lid until it is completely shut on the collection canister. Then, securely secure the pour spout cap on the lid’s pour spout. To prevent spillage, connect the collection cap to a basket or other container with a hook-and-loop fastener if necessary. Connect the connecting hose to the aspirator’s vacuum port and the vacuum port on the collection canister once the container is set up; connect the sterile patient tubing to the canister’s patient port once the container is set up.

The aspirator can now be turned on using a power button or a power switch. When the suction machine is turned on, it should perform a self-check to ensure that all internal systems are functioning properly. Alarm conditions, pneumatic system operation, internal communication, and the power system are all included.

Double-check that you followed the product manual’s instructions and that all exterior components (canister, tubing, fittings, and so on) are securely connected. Then double-check that the machine is getting the proper amount of power. If Aspirator is drawing power from an external source, an external power icon will appear. If a slash emerges, the aspirator is not receiving electricity from the cable or power source.

Once the machine is turned on, run an operational test to check it is working properly. To begin, go to the start menu and pick “Surgical Suction.” Negative pressure will be channeled through the suction machine. Pinch the suction tubing and monitor the vacuum gauge to determine the vacuum level. It should reach the surgical vacuum level (less than 2 mm Hg + 8%). When pinching the tube, make sure you completely restrict the entrance, regardless of how high or low it is. If not, double-check that the tubing and collection canister are firmly connected. If the suction level isn’t right despite everything being in place, your aspirator may need to be serviced. For more information, contact the manufacturer of your device.

How to Clean a Suction Machine

Because a suction machine has so many parts, it must be cleaned on a regular basis. To prevent against hazardous waste, medical professionals should clean an aspirator after each use while wearing personal protective equipment, and then clean the reusable parts at regular intervals to ensure the aspirator and its components are free of dangerous contamination.

Many suction unit parts are single-use, which is good news. To determine what can be reused and what should be discarded after use, consult your product documentation. The collecting canister, canister lid, and accompanying suction tubing for the aspirator should all be discarded after use. Ascertain that all single-use parts are disposed of in compliance with hospital and local medical waste disposal procedures.

Wipe off the unit’s housing and vacuum port using a damp, soapy cloth on a regular basis, then dry with a lint-free cloth. After each use, dampen a cloth with a 10% bleach solution and thoroughly wipe the housing and vacuum port, being careful not to get any liquid into the aspirator. Finally, before storing or utilizing the aspirator, make sure it is fully dry.

Some substances should never come into touch with a suction machine. Allow no grease or oil to enter the system or coat the aspirator’s reusable components, and avoid exposing the inside of the aspirator to excessive amounts of water. Also, don’t use hydrocarbon or abrasive cleansers on your suction machine because they can harm the casing or components.

Always check your Suction Unit/Sucker Machine’s product handbook or cleaning instructions to be sure it’s been thoroughly cleaned.

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