The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2004 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

HOW FREQUENTLY SHOULD IN-LINE SUCTION CATETHERS BE CHANGED?

Megan Martin, BS, RCP; Jodi Peters, BS, RCP; Carissa Yackus, BS, RCP; Deborah Cullen, EdD, RRT, FAARC, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN

BACKGROUND: Evidence based guidelines (EBG) suggest that the use of closed system suction catheters should be used to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). Moreover, they do not need to be changed daily. Our aim is to determine the frequency for in-line suction catheter changes among practicing respiratory clinicians in Indiana compared to what the evidence based guidelines suggest, and also to determine if level of education or credentials have any effect on compliance with hospital policy.

METHODS: A listing of licensed respiratory care practioners (RCP) was obtained from the Health Professions Bureau of Indiana. Random selection consisted of mailing to every 13th RCP out of 3,444, a total of 265. The surveys consisted of nine questions regarding their county, level of experience, education, and frequency of changing the in-line catheters. Our overall return rate with two mailings was 38%.

RESULTS:Our overall return rate with two mailings was 38%. Returned survey demographics determined for experience 24.8% <10 years, 38.6% < 20 years, 36.6% > 20 years; education level was 21% BS degree, 62% AS degree, 17% other; and credentials were 69% RRT, 28% CRT, 2% RCP and 1% other. See Table 1. For a RCP with a Bachelor’s Degree, it was stated 65% always change on time, 10% may forget every now and then, and 25% did not suction. For a RCP with an Associate’s Degree, 64% reported always changing on time, 13% may forget every now and then, 2% sometimes change on time, and 21% did not suction. For the other category, 88% always changed on time, 6% may forget now and then, and 6% did not respond.

TABLE ONE

Suction? How often are in-lines changed? Compliance with policy?
81% Yes 39% Daily 84% Always
19% No 22% Weekly 15% May Forget
  10% PRN 1% Sometimes on time
  29% Other 0% Never on time

CONCLUSION: We have determined that most hospitals do not follow the EBG and are changing catheters on a daily basis. There are no conclusive differences regarding frequency of changes with credential comparison of a CRT to RRT or level of education. Respiratory clinicians may require additional review of in-line suction EBG emphasizing frequency of catheter change.

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