- Suctioning mucus through the nose and mouth
- A nasopharyngeal airway or nasal airway is a flexible tube with a flared end that is designed to be inserted into the nasal passageway, allowing convenient access to the nasopharynx, which connects the back of the nose to the back of the mouth. Suctioning mucus through the nasopharyngeal airway is often done in the cases where a patient often bites down on the oropharyngeal airway.
- An oropharyngeal airway or oral airway is a tube inserted through the mouth and into the oropharynx, the part of the throat at the back of the mouth.
- Suctioning mucus through an endotracheal or tracheostomy tube
Suctioning through an endotracheal or tracheostomy tube allows removal of mucus from the lower respiratory tract, especially in patients who are not conscious and are unable to expel the mucus on their own. An endotracheal tube may be inserted through the mouth (orotracheal) or nose (nasotracheal) and will be passed through the epiglottis and vocal cords into the trachea. An endotracheal tube is usually only placed for three to four weeks, after which a tracheostomy tube will be used for direct access to the trachea.