Pre-Hospital Care Suction – PART TWO.


So we are all very familiar with the Yankaeur Suction catheter but where did it come from?


“Invented circa 1907, the Yankauer suction tip remains the most commonly used piece of suction equipment in the world. Sidney Yankauer began work in the outpatient surgery department at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York in the late 1800’s, specialising in ENT. He invented many medical devices that greatly impacted the profession during that time, but he is best known for his rigid suction catheter, the Yankauer tip. It was originally designed to help clear the surgical field during a tonsillectomy. However, its use has expanded to include many surgical procedures, as well as in-hospital and Pre-hospital Oro-pharyngeal suctioning. Often made of plastic or stainless steel, the Yankauer catheter is characterised by small holes in a bulbous tip designed to remove fluid while minimising damage to the surrounding tissues. The catheter is curved, making it manoeuvrable and easy to grasp” (Thanks to SAM D SAY for the history lesson!)


SO this was a device by invention for small scale mostly capillary bleeding from surgery NOT an airway device although of course it does work for that purpose to a degree!


BUT if we want to suction volume (You are having a bad day #AirwayNerd!) then why do we want to use a device that is:


  • Smaller than the tubing to it so limiting suction volume.
  • Unable to suck up any decent “Lumps” (Carrots, Doner Kebab etc!)
  • Has a small hole you have to find and put your thumb over to make it work.


Of course this does not sound ideal so we advocate change to the new designed and made for purpose devices such as the Ducanto Catheter  you will get the try them in the SALAD session of our Airway Courses where you will be amazed and the volume and consistency they can shift because at times when a life saving intervention is required you want to spend a couple more pounds on something that works!


We also myth bust all the old Dogma technique such as “Only suction what you can see and for no more than 10 seconds” as I like to ask what if the airway is NOT CLEAR at the 10 second mark???????


P.S Look out for cheap suction tubing too, it can be narrow bore so strangling the suction machine and kinks easily while stored!