Airway Suctioning Clinical Practice Guidelines: A Review (1.0 CE for Nurses and 1.0 CRCE for Respiratory Therapists)

07-24-2023 07:39 AM

Course Description

Airway suctioning is a key component of airway management, both inside and outside of the intensive care unit (ICU). This course will discuss suctioning in acute and post-acute environments and review the latest American Association for Respiratory Therapy (AARC) Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) for airway suctioning, providing a refresher on best practices. By the end of this course, you’ll have a renewed sense of knowledge and understanding of how to apply these guidelines and best practices to perform airway suctioning effectively. 

Learning Objective

Upon completion of the course, the learner will be able to:

  • Define the clinician's role in airway management, including artificial airway suctioning  
  • Discuss the indications for suctioning artificial airways 

  • Differentiate between open vs. closed suction 

  • Identify complications associated with open and closed suction 

  • Describe the types of suction catheters including “scraping devices” 

  • Identify the appropriate suction catheter size including safe vacuum pressures for all patient populations  

  • Compare shallow vs. deep suctioning procedures 

  • Discuss the use of subglottic secretion management devices 

  • Recognize pre-procedure hyperoxygenation for infants and the prevention of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) 

  • Analyze and compare clinical evidence of standard vs. bronchoscopy airway suctioning 

  • Review current evidence and manufacturer guidelines for change-out frequency recommendations 

  • Summarize AARC CPG: Care of Ventilator Circuit recommendations 

Intended Audience

This educational activity was developed for respiratory professionals and nurses. 

CE Information

This course is approved for 1.0 contact hours by the American Association for Respiratory Care and by the Florida and California State Boards of Nursing. 

Course Authors

This course was written by James Donegan, BS, RRT; Lisa Ely EdD, RRT-NPS; Jason Kutinac MBA, RRT, CLSSGB; and Leeann Pickering, AS, RRT-NPS and was edited by Brenda Kozak, DNP, MSN, RN, CNE

James is a Registered Respiratory Therapist with 16 years of clinical experience and has a bachelor’s degree in Respiratory Science.

Jason is a Registered Respiratory Therapist with 25 years of experience as both a clinician and leader. He holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Healthcare Management.

Lisa is a Registered Respiratory Therapist with 32 years of clinical experience who also holds her Neonatal/Pediatric Specialty certification.  She has a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration as well as a Doctorate in Adult Education.

Leeann is a Registered Respiratory Therapist with 8 years of clinical experience who also holds a Neonatal and Pediatric Specialty Certification. She holds an associate degree in the applied science of respiratory care. 

Brenda earned her doctorate in nursing practice and is a certified nurse educator. Brenda has over 20 years of clinical experience in nursing practice.