Fluid Talk blog

Why invest in surgical suction?

Rapid urbanization introduces new health risks that are driven by changing lifestyles and aging population. These risks include a growing number of injuries and prostate enlargements, which are often treated in endoscopic surgeries. 

Over the next couple of years, the number of endoscopic surgeries rise steadily at CAGR of 3-4%, amounting to an estimated 10M surgeries in 2020 in high-income countries. 

When it comes to fluid waste management, the difference between open surgeries and endoscopic procedures is remarkable:

While typical open procedures generate less than 2 liters of fluid waste, endoscopic surgeries in urology and orthopedics can residue up to 60 liters of liquids.

Large amounts of irrigation fluid is required in some endoscopic procedures to wash away debris and blood, to maintain good visibility in the operating cavity, to enlarge the target organ or to cool off the laser. 

Obviously, this rapid increase in fluid-intensive endoscopic surgeries forces hospitals to pay even more attention to surgical suction. 


The importance of suction is undeniable 

When we asked OR nurses to describe the impact of suction on patient safety, their answer left no room for doubt: 

“Surgical suction is vitally important, and it must work at all times.” 

If the suction process does not work, visibility is lost, the nurse cannot fully focus on caring for the patient and patient safety is at a risk. In fact, properly working suction is just as important as electricity for the normal running of an OR.  

Meeting the challenge of fluid-intensive procedures 

Today, surgical suction practices are taking steps to adapt to procedures with high fluid volume. While many ORs continue to rely on conventional ways to collect rising volumes of liquids – rigid canisters, reusable bottles, suction bags in serial connection or even direct drainage down the sanitary sewer on the floor – they are also exploring new ways to use these approaches to the benefit of medical staff and patients.

In the light of these recent developments, here are some common challenges faced by our customers in hospitals around the world: 

  1. Nurses spend a lot of time on surgical suction tasks before, during and after the operation. Tools working poorly cause frustration among nurses, because time is at a premium. 
  2. Delays attributed to equipment failure, delayed surgical set-up or alike have a major effect on patient flow and total hospital expenses.
  3. Time used cleaning reusable canisters could be focused on more valuable tasks – and with less risk of contamination.
  4. Making fluid management smarter and simpler to work with makes more nurses more comfortable to work around suction. Serres solutions aim to prevent mistakes by design yet in other cases lack of experience can lead to delay-causing mistakes such as a contaminated vacuum line. 
  5. Visual estimation of patients’ fluid deficit is known to be imprecise. Unnoticed perforation or excess absorption of irrigation fluids may lead to complications. 

Improving OR efficiency 

These challenges can be addressed with many small incremental improvements that together create a massive bottom-line impact through better use of time and resources. OR efficiency is all about how well things flow – both in terms of processes and teamwork. And how easy it is to get the job done safely, on time and with quality.  

Innovations like the single-connection Serres Suction Bag can make a huge difference in the quest to improved OR efficiency. What once was time-consuming and difficult work – namely, changing suction bags on the fly – is now an easy-to-use system that speeds up fluid collection and disposal. 

Smart hospitals optimize their surgical suction processes according to needs to achieve operational efficiency and better patient experiences. Applying technology that is made to support nurses’ daily work and help them deliver the care their patients deserve, not only promote better clinical outcomes but also nurses’ job satisfaction, enabling better care for a greater number of patients at a lower cost.  

Explore our website for more about how Serres helps to improve your OR safety and efficiency.

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For more information on this topic, please contact

Mari Makkonen
Marketing Manager