Protect Patients and Staff from Cross-Contamination with Portable Suction Machines

The COVID-19 pandemic is placing extraordinary strain on our healthcare systems. Today, healthcare teams are battling a highly transmissible virus in challenging conditions. On the proverbial front lines, cross-contamination is a real and present danger. In the fight against COVID-19, portable suction machines offer important and timely benefits by mitigating cross-contamination and facilitating versatile care.   

Airway Suction is Critical for COVID-19 Ventilation

It is estimated that 20% of COVID-19 patients require hospitalization, with 5% requiring critical care support.1 A March retrospective study found that acute respiratory distress syndrome [ARDS] and respiratory failure, sepsis, acute cardiac injury, and heart failure are the most common critical complications linked to COVID-19.2

Many COVID-19 patients will require ventilation in the first 24 hours of intensive care to maintain proper pulmonary hygiene and endotracheal patency.3 Given COVID-19’s identified clinical characteristics – including its tendency to produce lung secretions in patients – regular airway suction becomes critically important during urgent care.4

Wall Suction Spreads Viral Risk

Many hospitals and care clinics currently rely on traditional, wall-mounted suction units that present several challenges and risks to COVID-19 patient care:

Unfortunately, wall-mounted airway suction devices have been shown to increase risk of cross-contamination.5

  • Wall-mounted devices are difficult to keep sterile, and operational failures (including overflows) risk contaminating an entire system, increasing risk of cross-contamination.
  • A previous study looking at contamination rates for wall-mounted suction units discovered contamination on over 30% of devices.6

Recently, the National Health Service (NHS) noted portable suction devices help with infection control,5 and these technologies are listed as “Required” in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) booklet for Severe Acute Respiratory Infection Treatment Centres.7

Portable Suction with Medela

Portable suction machines offer caregivers an effective, versatile way to provide suction while mitigating risks associated with cross-contamination.

  • Recommended by the NHS for COVID-19 care5, portable medical suction machines avoid use of wall suction to reduce risk of viral transmission
  • Devices equipped with COVID-19 supported virus filters reduce risk of cross-contamination and viral exposure to staff
  • When used with disposable collection systems, portable suction machines further reduce staff exposure to hazardous fluids

Our medical suction machines eliminate risk of overflow into wall systems and include virus filters and disposable fluid collection systems to reduce risk of cross-contamination and help limit the spread of COVID-19.

We Support Health Systems

Medela Healthcare has been a leader in medical vacuum systems for over 60 years. Every day, we strive to fulfill a core promise of our business: to make life easier and improve outcomes for healthcare practitioners and their patients.

Healthcare providers seeking more information on Medela’s response to COVID-19, including information on using our systems to better manage patients, can visit our dedicated support hub.

When a patient enters critical care, ensuring access to effective, safe airway suction is crucial. Medela Healthcare is ready to help hospitals and health systems rise to this great challenge by increasing production of our portable suction machines and mobile solutions.

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1 Wu Z, McGoogan JM. Characteristics of and Important Lessons from the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak in China: Summary of a Report of 72 314 Cases from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. JAMA. 2020;323(13):1239–1242. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.2648

2 Chen, T., Wu, D., Chen, H., Yan, W., Yang, D., Chen, G., Ma, K., Xu, D., Yu, H., Wang, H., Wang, T., Guo, W., Chen, J., Ding, C., Zhang, X., Huang, J., Han, M., Li, S., Luo, X., Zhao, J. and Ning, Q., 2020. Clinical Characteristics Of 113 Deceased Patients With Coronavirus Disease 2019: Retrospective Study. The BMJ. Internet: Accessed 21 May 2020.

3 Report on 196 patients critically ill with COVID-19. ICNARC, 20 March 2020. Internet: 2020/03/22/Report-On-196-Patients-Critically-Ill-With-Covid-19

4 Surge Capacity Logistics, Care of the Critically Ill and Injured During Pandemics and Disasters: CHEST Consensus Statement, Sharon Einav; John L. Hick; Dan Hanfling; Brian L. Erstad; Eric S. Toner; Richard D. Branson; Robert K. Kanter; Niranjan Kissoon; Jeffrey R. Dichter; Asha V. Devereaux; and Michael D. Christian; on behalf of the Task Force for Mass Critical Car

5 2020. Novel Coronavirus (COVID- 19) Standard Operating Procedure. Internet: Accessed 12 May 2020.

6 Kaye, K., 2009. Suction Controls As A Vector For Hospital Acquired Infections. American Journal of Infection Control. Internet: Accessed 12 May 2020.

7 Severe Acute Respiratory Infections Treatment Centre, March 2020. Internet: SARI_treatment_center-2020.1-eng.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y, p. 99