A suction machine, also known as an aspirator, is a type of medical device that is primarily used for removing obstructions like mucus, saliva, blood, or secretions from a person’s airway. When an individual is unable to clear secretions due to a lack of consciousness or an ongoing medical procedure, suction machines help them breathe by maintaining a clear airway.
In practice, care professionals use suction machines as an integral part of a treatment plan when a patient’s airway is partially or completely obstructed. Some common uses include:
- Removing respiratory secretions when the patient is unable to
- Assisting a patient that is vomiting while seizing or unconscious
- Clearing blood from the airway
- Removing a foreign substance from a patient’s windpipe and/or lungs (pulmonary aspiration)