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 for instance 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.

High volumes of fluid waste is a result of using high amounts of irrigation fluid during operation that is required in 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 and how best handle growing volumes of fluids.


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 or direct drainage down the sanitary sewer on the floor – they are also exploring new ways to collect and handle surgical fluids to the benefit of medical staff and patients.

In the light of the recent developments, there are some common challenges faced by hospitals around the world: 

  1. Nurses spend a lot of time on surgical suction tasks before, during and after the operation. Poorly working tools cause a lot of frustration among nurses as time in the OR is often at a premium. 
  2. Multiple connections in surgical suction systems increases risks of human error. Lack of experience or adequate training in setting up the suction system can lead to costly mistakes such as vacuum source contamination and consequent shut-down of an OR for cleaning.
  3. Delays attributed to equipment failure, delayed surgical set-up or alike can have a major effect on patient flow and total hospital expenses.
  4. Cleaning reusable canisters exposes staff at risk of contamination and takes time that could be focused on more valuable tasks.

Improving OR efficiency 

Challenges related to surgical suction can be addressed by deploying simple to use tools and technology that enable better use of time and resources. After all, 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.  

Making fluid management smarter and simpler to work with makes nurses more comfortable to work around suction. Serres solutions simplifies surgical suction by aiming to prevent mistakes by design. Single-connection Serres Suction Bag can make a huge difference in the quest to improved OR efficiency. What once was time-consuming and complicated – namely, changing suction bags on the fly – is now an easy-to-use system that speeds up fluid collection.

Smart hospitals optimize their surgical suction processes according to needs to achieve operational efficiency and ultimately better patient experiences. Deploying tools and technology that are 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, allowing healthcare professionals to focus where it matters.

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