Clinical Indicators for Endotracheal Suctioning in Adult Patients Receiving Mechanical Ventilation

Author(s): Mary Lou Sole, RN, PhD, CCNS, Melody Bennett, RN, MN, CCRN, and Suzanne Ashworth, RN, MSN, CCRN, CCNS

Contact Hours 1.00

CERP A 1.00

Expires Jul 01, 2019

Topics: Pulmonary

Population: Adult

Role: Staff

Member: Free
NonMember: $10.00

Added to Collection

Activity Summary

Critically ill patients who need mechanical ventilation require endotracheal suctioning. Guidelines recommend coarse crackles over the trachea and/or the presence of a sawtooth pattern on the flow-volume loop of the ventilator waveform as the best indicators.


  • Identify the recommended assessment parameters to determine the need for endotracheal suctioning in patients receiving mechanical ventilation.
  • Explain the potential for inaccurate assessment of the need for endotracheal suctioning based on the most frequently used clinical indicators.
  • Discuss which clinical assessments, according to study findings, best indicate the need for endotracheal suctioning, and why.

Continuing Education Disclosure Statement

Successful Completion

Learners must attend/view/read the entire activity and complete the associated evaluation to be awarded the contact hours or CERP. No partial credit will be awarded.


This activity has been reviewed by the Nurse Planner. It has been determined that the material presented here shows no bias. Approval of a continuing education activity does not imply endorsement by AACN or ANCC of any commercial products displayed or discussed in conjunction with the activity.


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