What Are Medical Aspirators And How Do They Work?

Medical aspirators, also known as suction devices, are medical equipment used to extract bodily fluids, such as blood and sputum, that cause obstructions in patients’ airways. Suction devices save lives by preventing the backflow of fluids into the body and preventing pulmonary aspiration in patients.  

Moreover, medical aspirators decongest the airways of patients experiencing breathing difficulties. Medical aspirators also enhance various treatment activities like surgeries by clearing oozing bodily fluids like blood, improving the surgery team’s visibility in surgical theatres. Additionally, they clear unconscious patients’ airways before undergoing intensive medical procedures.  

Medical equipment manufacturers like KNF produce critical medical devices like diaphragm pumps used to manage prevalent respiratory diseases like Covid 19, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Diaphragm pump aspirators are used for routine suctioning among patients suffering from chronic respiratory illnesses that cause an increase in airway secretions, resulting in blocked airways.


Types of Medical Aspirators

Different types of medical aspirators are used in hospitals or with patients in home-based care. Medical aspirators have different settings depending on the kind of suction required. Below are the most common types of medical aspirators:   

  •  Manual Suction Devices

They are mainly used in emergency cases, especially outside a hospital setting. They’re also ideal in low-tech medicine. Manual medical aspirators are light, compact, easy to use, and don’t use electricity or batteries. Their main disadvantage is that they’re powered by human strength. They depend on the ability of the individual hand-squeezing them. Hence the strength of the suction is often inconsistent and unpredictable.   

  •  Wall-mounted aspirators

The basic wall-mounted aspirator is ideal in a hospital, nursing home, or emergency vehicle like an ambulance, where the patient is confined within a given spot. Wall-mounted aspirators aren’t portable and, therefore, can’t assist aspirating patients outside their stationed room. Wall-mounted aspirators offer strong suction and are considered steady and reliable.     

  •  Portable Emergency Aspirators

These allow doctors and first responders to treat the patient anytime and anywhere. Portable aspirators are small in size and use long-life batteries, enabling them to be used in various remote setups, including military camps. Like wall-mounted aspirators, portable emergency aspirators also offer consistent and reliable suction. Good equipment maintenance and an extra set of batteries guarantee a dependable portable device.

How Medical Aspirators Work

Portable suction equipment relies on batteries to generate a negative pressure, which is then directed through a catheter, a connecting tube made of special plastic. The negative pressure produces a vacuum effect that pulls out accumulated fluids or other bodily secretions.  

In detail, a medical aspirator works as follows:

  • A vacuum pump within the aspirator creates negative pressure, ensuring the suction machine works appropriately. Medical aspirators depend on the creation of negative pressure to extract body secretions.
  • A sterile patient tubing transports the secretions to the collecting container. The tube is disposed of appropriately after each use.
  • A disposable collecting container collects the secretions and ensures there is no overflow.  
  • The aspirator automatically drains the extracted secretions into a sterile collecting container from where samples can be drawn for further medical investigations.
  • It has filters to prevent contamination, dust, and exposure to harmful gases.
  • After accounting for all the components, you only plug the suction device into a power source and switch it on. 
  • You can regulate the suction device to a level that ensures the complete removal of secretions.

Medical aspirators have numerous reusable parts that you must clean regularly. You have to guarantee the sterility of your medical aspirator and its different parts for your patient’s safety and your sample’s purity.

What Are Medical Aspirators And How Do They Work?

Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Medical Aspirator

Before you buy a medical aspirator, consider the following factors:

  • The ideal suction device has a reliable flow rate and continuous operation.
  • Look for a smooth-flow pump with soft and flexible tips that can fit into a patient’s nostrils without irritating.
  • Consider whether you can regulate your device’s power. You do not want to damage your patient’s nasal or throat mucosa due to strong suction.
  • The noise produced by your device should be minimal. Excessive noise might cause discomfort and irritability to specific patients, like newborns and the elderly.
  • It should be easy to use and clean. Suction devices that you can disassemble are easy to clean and disinfect. Waterproof devices also clean up better since you can wash them under running water.

Keeping the above factors in mind as you shop for a medical aspirator would ensure you get your money’s worth.


Medical aspirators are critical emergency devices that facilitate breathing in patients with clogged airways. Suction devices are life savers and a must-have in hospitals or the field where medical emergencies crop up regularly. They’re also ideal for handling home-based care patients.  

When purchasing medical aspirators, consider engaging a reputable manufacturing company that provides high-quality equipment at an affordable cost.

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