by Dr Kayla Jackson, Warwick Vet Clinic, QLD
This is an electric suction unit that’s used for the aspiration of nasal, oral and tracheal bodily fluids. We also use it for suctioning blood, transudate, exudate and any effusions.
What’s good about it
The unit is very portable and easily moved from the surgery to the treatment room. We could be sucking up tracheal aspirations from a tick paralysis dog then, if we had an emergency caesarean, we could move the unit straight into surgery, only having to add an autoclaved attachment.
All of the attachments, including the jar, are autoclavable. We tend to use it most often during surgical procedures that potentially have a lot of bodily fluids, such as caesarians, large dog spays, exploratory laparotomies and splenectomies.
The jar can hold 1200 millilitres and the unit has an overflow system so it doesn’t go back into the machine. The jar has measurements on the side that are really useful for assessing blood volume losses or ensuring that all liquid is removed after we flush an abdomen. It saves a lot of time compared to sucking up liquid with a 60-millilitre syringe.
The unit is suitably priced for veterinary practice needs and has a reliable motor. It’s really small and compact, making it easy to store.
What’s not so good
There are a few small negatives. The tubing can be difficult to clean due to its diameter and length. Sometimes the connection can be a little fiddly to assemble as it needs to be completely airtight. When suctioning during surgery, the tip can get stuck against the peritoneum and be unable to suck for a few seconds. Also, large clots can obstruct the input hole and need to be manually removed before it works properly again.