Suction Canister

What is a suction canister?

A suction canister is a temporary storage container for secretions or fluids removed from the body. These fluids or secretions may come from the patient’s lungs, stomach or wounds. The suction canister may be seen attached to the wall of the patient’s room or resting on the floor next to the patient’s bed.

How is the suction canister used?

The suction canister has at least two outlets for tubing. One of the tubes is attached to a suction source and the other to the patient. The suction source (which may be a wall outlet or a portable compressor) generates a negative pressure in the canister that helps to drain the fluids or secretions from the patient. The other tube is connected to the patient. Examples of tubes that are used with the suction canister include nasogastric, respiratory suction catheter, G-tube, and wound drains.

What are the potential complications associated with the use of the suction canister?

Suction canisters are very reliable and rarely are associated with complications. The amount of suction applied to the patient is monitored carefully. Occasionally the suction may cause irritation to the tissue at the end of the tubing.