PSP Association
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Suction machine

Hello to everyone.We bought a suction machine for my dad recently.The problem is we don't know how to use it!How often should we use it?How many seconds should we apply the suctioning, each time?Also, there is a suction control that you can adjust between a - and a + limit, and a pointer that shows the pressure, i think.Where should the control and the pointer be during suctioning?Thank you very much,John.

5 Replies

hi john i think l would get some advice from a qualified person on this one mate peter jones queensland australia psp sufferer good luck and best wishes to your dad everyone of us is different what might suit one person might not suit another sorry i could not be of any assistance


If you haven't already got a parkinson's nurse I would ring the local hospital and get one round to show you. Failing that try your local hospice as the palliative care team are experts in these types of thing. Alternatively try the GP to see if you can get the district nurse in but this would be my last port of call as we waited about a month for ours last time we asked! If I recall when I was a student nurse donkeys years ago, you can over do suction. However it is likely a privately bought one may not be as powerful as a hospital one. If you have bought this privately is there a number to ring for support?


Are you in the UK? My mother's care home provided hers, but when they talked us through her having it by her bedside they were emphatic that it could only be used by nursing staff- not even the care staff could use it, and family certainly had to ring if it was needed. Of course, it might have been a 'stronger' machine than yours. They tended to ring us afterwards on the occasions it had been used.


Hi John,

You really need special training to safely use a suction machine. If you have the suction pressure too high or insert the suction catheter too far you can cause serious and permanent damage to the airways. The people you bought it from should be able to give you the training you require and if they can't then it's very irresponsible of them to sell it to you!

I am a qualified physiotherapist and we have to undergo detailed training and regular updates before we are allowed to suction anyone without supervision. I cannot emphasise strongly enough how dangerous it is is to attempt this without the proper tuition.

Please seek professional advice immediately!




Peter, daughterno1, springfield_ann, Kathy, thank you so much for your answers!Our neurologist suggested the suction machine and she told me too to get some advice from a nurse or the company that we bought it.I contacted the company, but they are not giving such kind of support, they told me to get advice from a nurse.We live in Greece and in our town is impossible to find a parkinson's nurse,unfortunately.I have sent an e-mail to a psp nurse from psp association (are their e-mails still in use?I can't find them in the website of Pspa) and i wait for a response.I am reluctant to use it without some reliable guidance.Wish you all the best, John.


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