Aspirators are medical devices commonly used to remove bodily fluids, such as mucus, from a patient via a vacuum mechanism. The aspirator's portability lends to its utility in hospitals, ambulances, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities.
The aspirator functions by the use of a hallowed, thin instrument which is inserted into the patient's orifice or cavity. The instrument is connected to the device by a length of surgical tubing. Suction is generated from a low-power compressor and the Venturi effect, and fluids removed from the patient are stored in an onboard or connected reservoir. These devices can be AC or DC powered and will also include a pressure gauge or regulator to monitor the low pressure. Surgical varieties are most commonly placed in the patient's nose to keep his or her airway mucus-free during a procedure. Dental varieties are maneuvered by the technician or dentist to remove saliva during cleanings and surgery. Infant and baby aspirators are simpler, as the low pressure generated by mechanical aspirators can harm the infant's weak organs. These varieties consist of a hand pump linked to a hallowed instrument for manual operation.