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Logo of mjafiGuide for AuthorsAbout this journalExplore this journalMedical Journal, Armed Forces India
Med J Armed Forces India. 1997 January; 53(1): 73.
Published online 2017 June 26. doi:  10.1016/S0377-1237(17)30656-1
PMCID: PMC5530840


Dear Editor,

A simple emergency suction apparatus made by using an intravenous fluid glass bottle, India rubber tube (IR tube) and an irrigation bulb is described. It is very useful for management of casualties at accident sites.

Airway obstruction due to blood, saliva, or vomitus is one of the prime causes of death in any accident victim especially in the battle field. These fluids can be removed effectively by using suction. The Regimental Medical Officer's (RMO) may not have the sophisticated, power-operated suction apparatus at the accident sites. A very simple suction apparatus has been devised and kept ready at our Regimental Aid Post (RAP) to overcome this handicap.

The emergency suction apparatus has been made by using an intravenous glass bottle with rubber stopper, 2 glass tubes, IR tube having 5 mm internal diameter and 75 cm length and a large rubber irrigation bulb with a capacity of 100 mL.

The IR tube (length 75 cm) is connected to the glass tube in the intravenous glass bottle. The other glass tube in the intravenous glass bottle is connected with a 10 cm long piece of IR tube. The other end of this 10 cm piece is in turn connected with the rubber irrigation bulb by using a plastic connector, which is commonly obtained from an intravenous giving set.

A negative pressure is created in the suction bottle by completely pressing the rubber bulb. The fluid can be sucked out from the oropharynx by placing the terminal open end of the large IR tube inside the oropharynx and gradually releasing the external pressure on the bulb. Rapid collection of fluid inside the suction bottle will be observed. The end of this large IR tube may be connected with a smaller soft rubber catheter for use in nostrils. If any blood clot comes in contact with the catheter end, it can be taken away from the oropharynx by the negative pressure in the IR tube and can be discarded by pressing the bulb again. Thus we can avoid blockage inside the tube. The suction process is repeated by pressing the irrigation bulb and releasing the pressure on the bulb again. The rate of suction is 350-400 mL/min.

This emergency suction apparatus is made from simple, easily available materials at the RAP. This is an effective suction apparatus and can be carried easily in a haversack. It is an important and useful resuscitation apparatus in the emergency medical service at the RAP.

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