Care & Maintenance of Cerebral Palsy: Bathing, Toilet Training, Dressing, Feeding &
Nutrition, Play, Fitness, Seizures, Sleep, Suctioning, Hearing, Vision and Teeth
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral PalsySuctioning Cerebral Palsy Cerebral Palsy Cerebral Palsy

Children with Cerebral Palsy can have difficulty clearing their airways of mucus. Due to the brain damage they sustained, not all of the muscles and nerves work in a coordinated fashion to move the mucus. This can result in a condition suctioning the child will clear their airways.You should never undertake this procedure unless you have been trained in suctioning techniques by your health care professional or a home health professional. You must be trained before you try the procedure on your own.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy
"Some children need help in clearing their airway of mucus. Suctioning will help clear the airway, but this procedure should only be performed when the child needs it. Suction your child under the following circumstances: (1) when you hear your child make wet breathing sounds, as if air is being pushed through wet mucus; (2) when your child is having difficulty breathing and is restless; or (3) when your child’s color is paler than usual and the nostrils are flaring out. The child will probably gag or cough when you use a suction catheter.

The following description of the procedure for suctioning is provided only as a memory refresher for caregivers who have already been trained to do the procedure by a doctor or another health care professional. No one who doesn’t feel comfortable doing the procedure should attempt to do it alone. Do not attempt to suction your child if you have not been trained to do so.

You will need the following equipment for the procedure:
-suction machine and tubing
-cool salt water
-containers for rinsing the tubing

You can make up the cool salt water, or saline, solution by mixing 3/4 teaspoon of table salt with 2 cups of water. Boil this mixture, and then cool it. After it has cooled, place it in the refrigerator in a clean glass jar.

1. Gather necessary equipment and make sure the suction machine is working properly.
2. Wash hands thoroughly.
3. Connect suction tubing to suction machine tubing
4. Measure the tube from the tip of the earlobe to the top of the nose. Keep your fingers on this mark. This is how far the tube will need to be inserted.
5. Insert the tip of the tube into the saline to wet the tube. Place the thumb over the tube opening to check on the effectiveness of the suction.
6. Tell the child what you will be doing and what to expect, and try to enlist his help.
7. Insert the tube into the nostril, with no suction. Keep your finger off the suction port opening in the tube.
8. With the tube in place, place your thumb over the suction port, and rotate the tube as you slowly move it out of the nostril. This should take no longer than 5 seconds.
9. Rinse the tube in saline. Let the child relax a moment.
10. Repeat steps 5-9 for the other nostril.
11. After suctioning the nostrils, you may suction the mouth. Remember to rinse the tube in saline first.
12. Insert the tube into the mouth with no suction.
13. Once the tube in correctly placed in the mouth, place your thumb over the suction port and rotate or twist the tube out of the mouth for no more than 5 seconds.
14. Rinse the tubing by suctioning the saline through it until the tubing is clear.
15. Repeat oral suctioning if necessary.
16. Dispose of unused saline.

To clean the tubing, follow these steps:
1. Rinse very well in tap water and then place in hot soapy water.
2. Rinse inside and outside with hot water.
3. Place on paper towels to dry. When dry, place in clean plastic bag until needed for the next time." (Cerebral Palsy: A Complete Guide for Caregiving: p. 333-334).

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Care & Maintenance of Cerebral Palsy: Bathing, Toilet Training, Dressing, Feeding &
Nutrition, Play, Fitness, Seizures, Sleep, Suctioning, Hearing, Vision and Teeth