Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 538–544 | Cite as

Tracheal suction by closed system without daily change versus open system

  • Leonardo LorenteEmail author
  • María Lecuona
  • Alejandro Jiménez
  • María L. Mora
  • Antonio Sierra



Tracheal suctioning costs are higher with a closed tracheal suction system (CTSS) than with an open system (OTSS), due to the need for complete daily change as recommended by the manufacturer. However, is it necessary to change the closed system daily?


To evaluate the tracheal suctioning costs and incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) using closed system without daily change vs OTSS.


Prospective and randomised study.


An Intensive Care Unit in a university hospital.


Patients requiring mechanical ventilation.


Patients were randomly assigned to CTSS without daily change or OTSS. We used a CTSS that allowed partial or complete change.

Measurements and results

There were no significant differences between both groups of patients (236 with CTSS and 221 with OTSS) in gender, age, diagnosis, APACHE-II score, mortality, number of aspirations per day, percentage of patients who developed VAP (13.9 vs 14.1%) or the number of ventilator-associated pneumonia per 1000 days of mechanical ventilation (14.1 vs 14.6). There were not significant differences in tracheal suctioning costs per patient/day between CTSS vs OTSS (2.3 ± 3.7 vs 2.4 ± 0.5 Euros; p = 0.96); however, when length of mechanical ventilation was lower than 4 days, the cost was higher with CTSS than with OTSS (7.2 ± 4.7 vs 1.9 ± 0.6 Euros; p < 0.001); and when length of mechanical ventilation was higher than 4 days, the cost was lower with CTSS than with OTSS (1.6 ± 2.8 vs 2.5 ± 0.5 Euros; p < 0.001).


CTSS without daily change is the optimal option for patients needing tracheal suction longer than 4 days.


Closed tracheal suction system Open tracheal suction system Ventilator-associated pneumonia Tracheal suctioning costs Nosocomial pneumonia Efficiency 



We thank the staff nurses for their inestimable collaboration on this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonardo Lorente
    • 1
    Email author
  • María Lecuona
    • 2
  • Alejandro Jiménez
    • 3
  • María L. Mora
    • 4
  • Antonio Sierra
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Critical CareHospital Universitario de CanariasSanta Cruz de TenerifeSpain
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologyHospital Universitario de CanariasSanta Cruz de TenerifeSpain
  3. 3.Research UnitHospital Universitario de CanariasSanta Cruz de TenerifeSpain
  4. 4.Department of Critical CareHospital Universitario de CanariasSanta Cruz de TenerifeSpain
  5. 5.Department of MicrobiologyHospital Universitario de CanariasSanta Cruz de TenerifeSpain

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