ComWeld StatVac II / Laerdal Compact Suction Unit (LCSU4):

  • To clear secretions in order to maintain a patent airway.

Penguin Suction Device:

  • To remove fluids from oral and nasal cavities of the newborn.
Patient Factors & Considerations

ComWeld Statvac II

  • Clean portable unit after every use.
  • Ensure the suction container in the suction unit does not get over 2/3 full.
  • Take care when suctioning the newborn/neonate. Utilise the baby mucus extractor if available.

ComWeld Statvac II & Laerdal Compact Suction Unit (LCSU4)

  • Replace tubing and oropharangeal aspiration flexible catheter after every use.
  • Constantly flush the suction catheter and tubing with water to prevent occlusion.

Penguin Suction Device

  • The suction tip should not be inserted more than 1-2cm into the nasal cavity or 2-3cm into the oral cavity (Fig. 6)
  • Ensure all suctioned material is collected into a bluey to minimise contamination.
  • Although the unit can be sterilised and re-used, this item is single patient use only for all St John Ambulance Staff.


  • For tracheostomy suction, please see here. 
  • All relevant infection control methods to be utilised.
  • Prepare equipment required:
    • Suction tubing
    • Suction unit
    • Yankauer / Ducanto catheter OR Flexible Aspiration Catheter
  • Connect catheter to suction unit:
    ComWeld StatVac O2-driven aspirator OR Laerdal Compact Suction Unit (LCSU4)

Laerdal Compact Suction Unit (LCSU4)

  • Push the suction jar connection into the vacuum inlet and ensure the lower lip of the canister clicks in place.
  • Connect the patient suction tube to the suction port, ensuring all connections are secure to prevent leakage.
  • Unwind the patient suction tube (check that no kinks will obstruct flow).
  • Turn the unit “ON” by pressing the green power button.
  • Set desired suction vacuum level by blocking the suction tube and turning the vacuum regulator.
  • Turn clockwise ( + ) to increase vacuum
  • Turn counter-clockwise ( - ) to decrease vacuum
  • The vacuum level will display on the 50 – 550+ mmHg scale.
  • When the desired vacuum level is reached, unblock the suction tube; when blocked, the suction unit should return to the desired level.
  • The LED scale illuminates green to indicate the level of the vacuum/suction strength.
  • The ‘Light Blue’ area indicates reduced suction levels for infants and small children.
  • Connect the catheter to the suction tubing.

ComWeld StatVac II:

Suction - Comweld

Laerdal Compact Suction Unit (LCSU4):Suction - LCSU4

Flexible Aspiration Catheter (oropharynx only):

  • Measure maximum length of the catheter to be inserted into the patient’s mouth by measuring the distance from the corner of the nostril of the patient to the earlobe. Hold the catheter with thumb and index finger at the length measured.
  • Insert catheter tip into the oropharynx under direct view.
  • Aspirate by occluding the aperture on the Soft Suction catheter while withdrawing slowly.
  • Aspiration must only be performed for a maximum of 5 seconds at one time.
  • Do not aspirate while entering the oropharynx.

Flexible Aspiration Catheter (Endotracheal tube):

  • Measure catheter length against the length of an equivalent ETT and clearly mark.
  • Insert catheter into the endotracheal tube.
  • Aspirate and rotate the catheter while withdrawing.

Flexible Aspiration Catheter (Tracheostomy):

  • Insert catheter into the tracheostomy (maximum of 2-3cm).
  • Request the patient cough.
  • Aspirate while withdrawing the catheter.
Suction - flexi

Yankauer or Ducanto Suction catheter (oropharynx only):

  • Yankauer catheters have a narrower bore for blood and secretions
  • Ducanto catheters are a larger bore option where needed and available
  • Insert Yankauer or Ducanto tip into the oropharynx under direct view.
  • Aspirate by occluding the Yankauer vacuum relief hole while withdrawing slowly (Ducanto does not have a vacuum relief hole)
  • Aspiration must only be performed for a maximum of 5 seconds at one time.
  • Do not aspirate while entering the oropharynx
ducanto 2
Suction - yankauer
ducanto 1

Penguin Suction Device:

  • Remove device from packaging.
  • Lay out open bluey for collection of aspirations.
  • Check suction device is functioning by blocking the suction tip and squeezing the body. The body should not expand until the blockage is removed (Fig. 2)
  • If functioning, squeeze body of Penguin and hold (Fig. 3).
  • Place suction tip into oral or nasal cavity.
  • Release grip slowly, allowing suction to occur (Fig. 4).
  • Remove and discard aspiration by squeezing out onto bluey for collection (Fig. 5)
  • Repeat steps 4-7 as required.
Penguin Suction Device
  • Consider lateral position / gravity assistance draining if amount of fluid or secretions exceeds suction capacity of suction unit.
Additional Information

Oropharyngeal Suction. (2014). Expert in My Pocket. http://expertinmypocket.com.au/oropharyngeal-suction/ 

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