Introduction: Converting Your Simulation Manikin for Tracheostomy Suctioning
Below is a guide with photos and videos to help you adapt your Simman for a simulation that involves tracheostomy suctioning.
Important note - this may affect the warranty of your Simman. Please check with your provider before experimenting.
Step 1: How to Make Your Device
The device is simple and very interchangeable for your needs. I have covered what I used and suggestions for your own modifications based on what you have available.
Make sure you test it is completely watertight before putting it inside your manikin! Squish it, put pressure on it, make sure it is definitely not going to leak.
The Tracheotomy Cuff
Key tips: If you have a fenestrated tube (one with windows/holes in the pipe) you should cover up the holes with tape first. Check that the fine bore suction tube can easily fit down without getting caught on any edges.
The Pipe - I used a catheter mount, but I would recommend an Endotracheal/ET tube.
Key tips: Use something that attaches strongly to both the cuff and the bag. You will need a tube that won't kink if bent, as if they sit Simman up, the device will stop working. Elephant tubing works, but has a lot of corrugated edges for the suction tube to get caught on. An Endotracheal/ET tube would be ideal.
The Bag - I used a reservoir bag from a bag-valve mask. This fitted on well, but is quite large.
Key tips: MUST BE WATERTIGHT.... (yeah, that would be an expensive mistake). Too big and the mucus is likely to pool in the wrong areas.
Step 2: Placing Your Device
The bag will sit under the lung plate, next to the CPR spring. The Tube of the cuff will come out of the top of the chest skin, but under the neck skin. You do not need to feed any of this through the actual tubes of the manikin.
Step 3: Test and Run Your Scenario
Make sure that you can suction your manikin before the session starts, and off you go!