Tracheostomy suction


  • Trach suctioning kit
  • Pairs of sterile gloves
  • Sterile basin and saline
  • Sterile drape
  • Pulse ox
  • Wall suction meter and canister


  1. Verify Order
  2. WIIAPA:
    1. Wash hands
    2. Introduce self
    3. Identify patient (use 2 identifiers)
    4. Allergies – don’t forget food allergies
    5. Plan of care
    6. Assess patient

  1. Educate patient on procedure.
  2. WITHOUT applying suction, insert catheter into trach with dominant hand until patient coughs.
  3. Apply intermittent suction by placing and releasing non-dominate thumb over valve of suction catheter while slowly withdrawing and rotating catheter back and forth with dominate thumb and forefinger for no more than 15 seconds. No more than 2 attempts to suction patient should be made. With 1 minute and hyperoxygenation between each pass.
  4. After suction is complete place patient back on oxygen if necessary and assist patient to comfortable position.
  5. Dispose of supplies and wash hands
  6. Monitor vital signs, specifically oxygen saturations.
  7. Prepare by hooking up Ambu bag to O2 supply and make sure suction canister is attached and working.
  8. Connect one end of connecting tubing to suction machine, and place other end in convenient location near patient. Turn suction device on and set vacuum regulator to appropriate suction pressure.
  9. Open sterile suction kit.
  10. Create sterile field with sterile drape in package.
  11. Prepare sterile basin, touching only the outside of basin, and pour sterile saline into basin.
  12. Apply sterile gloves.
  13. Arrange sterile items on sterile field.
  14. Pick up suction catheter with sterile, dominate hand and attach catheter to wall suction tubing with non-dominate, now non-sterile hand.  Test patency of suction catheter by suctioning prepared sterile water through the catheter.
  15. Instruct patient to take deep breaths or hyperoxygenate patient with Ambu bag, using non-sterile hand. Remind the patient about their cough reflex when suctioning begins.
  16. Document

Reference: Laplante, N., Perry, A.G, Potter, P.A., & Ostendorf, W.R. (2022). Clinical Nursing Skills & Techniques. 10th ed. Elsevier