Unread 03-02-2010, 11:38 PM #1 (permalink)
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Default Does suctioning increase secretions?

My dad is in the later stages of the disease and under hospice care. He has a lot of secretions in his throat ( We thought he'd caught my mom's cold and that the "noises" were in his chest but apparently the "junk" is not in his lungs, thank goodness. ) and hospice is giving him Robitussin ( and maybe something else, I can't remember ), but wants to delay using suction, saying this would irritate the throat and cause secretions to increase. They'll use it if they need to but are trying other things first. Is this stuff true about using suction? I am going to Ohio to see Dad on Friday. If his mouth is full of "gunk" what can I do to help?

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Unread 03-03-2010, 12:04 AM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Does suctioning increase secretions?

I do not believe that increased frequency of suctioning increases secretions. I have not found that to be true. But since ALS is so different for everyone it might increase for some.
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Unread 03-03-2010, 07:30 AM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Does suctioning increase secretions?

Deb I have no problem with increased saliva when using suction. Is your dad getting enough fluids? It helps if you stay hydrated. Keep us posted on your dad and mom. Have a nice visit
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Unread 03-03-2010, 08:06 AM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Does suctioning increase secretions?

Hospice here uses some kind of eye drops to give the patient for the secretions. My sister passed from leukemia in December and I was giving the meds to her with a dropper. One was morphine and the other was for the secretions. Yes, the eye drops was given orally.
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Unread 03-03-2010, 09:48 AM #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Does suctioning increase secretions?

Marjorie, I wonder if it was individual Normal Saline tubes which does look like a single dose eye drop. Normal saline is always used in the clinical setting to thin secretions prior to suctioning. I have never heard of eyedrops. Debbie, I agree with Joel-SUCTION and make certain that is well hydrated. The Robitussin can create thick ropey secretions if you are not well hydrated. Safe travel and wonderful moments for you and your Family. hugs, Kay Marie
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Unread 03-03-2010, 11:20 AM #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Does suctioning increase secretions?

Thanks all of you for the replies. I will check on the amount of extra hydration Dad is getting. As far as I KNOW he is just getting water needed for flushing before and after his Jevity feedings. I'm glad I will be able to meet some of the hospice nurses and talk with them directly about what all is being done.

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Unread 03-03-2010, 03:30 PM #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Does suctioning increase secretions?

Because my wife is on a feeding tube due to her inability to manage fluids or solids i feel it is important to use suction on a regular basis and we use sudafed from the pharmacy to keep her as dry as we can. I dont think the suction creates or stimulates the production of more saliva or mucossa. However the device and suctioning tool could make a differance. Overall i believe there is a more dangerous risk of mucous or salive reaching the lungs ant turning into infection.
Sincerely Paul and Beth
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Unread 03-03-2010, 10:30 PM #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Does suctioning increase secretions?

I don't think that secretions are increased by suctioning and I use my suction machine just about every day. The key is staying hydrated to keep the gunk from becoming too thick. Although I cant eat or drink, I take in a lot of fluids through my peg and am still able to stand at the sink and get my mouth under the tap to rinse. It is a long process for me to get my mouth ready for bed but between my suction machine, waterpik, toothbrush, rinsing from the tap and even terry cloth washcloths to drag the goo out (nothing works like terrycloth!)
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Unread 03-04-2010, 12:28 AM #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Does suctioning increase secretions?

Dad uses a suction machine regularly and I don't see it increasing secretions.

The topic of hydration interests me. Dad's mucous is thick and stringy. How much hydration is expected? I think Mom shoots for 600 mL/day.

Best to you, Debbie. I hope hospice has benefitted your dad. It looks like we're transitioning to hospice as well.
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Unread 03-04-2010, 12:41 AM #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Does suctioning increase secretions?

Lisa, I do 5 boxes of formula per day with 180ml of water per feed (1 60ml syringe before and 2 after) so I am getting 900ml per day not including the liquid part of the formula (5 x 237ml = 1185ml). No wonder I can't go far from a bathroom!
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