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July 1959

A Suction Apparatus for Use During Open Cardiotomy

Author Affiliations

Boston; U. S. N.; R.N.
From the Department of Surgery, the Lahey Clinic, Boston, and the Surgical Research Laboratory, U. S. Naval Hospital, Chelsea, Mass.; Department of Surgery, the Lahey Clinic; Consultant in Surgery and Physiology, U. S. Naval Hospital, Chelsea, Mass. (Dr. Watkins). Chief of Thoracic Surgery, U. S. Naval Hospital, Chelsea, Mass. (Commander Hering).

AMA Arch Surg. 1959;79(1):35-39. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1959.04320070039006

There are certain trying moments during open-heart surgery. At these times a highvolume suction apparatus is necessary to remove large volumes of blood from the operative field and to provide a means for accurate measurement of this loss so that correct transfusion replacement may be instituted promptly. The suction pumps of the modern pump-oxygenator should be supplemented by such a unit to remove blood generally from the thoracotomy wound. Conventional operating-room suction is not ideal for this purpose: The suction container is usually placed beneath the operating table or on the floor, where it is not easily observed by personnel in charge of blood replacement; the suction bottles are usually large and wide, so that it is impossible to measure the volume of aspirated loss accurately, and autotransfusion of the aspirated blood is difficult.

With these objections in mind, we have developed a compact suction unit which is siliconized and