About Medical Vacuum & Suction Regulators
What are they?
Vacuum regulators, also called suction regulators, allow the high pressure vacuum air, that is being supplied by the central vacuum system in the facility, to be converted to a level that is safe for patient use. The regulator is essentially acting as a pressure limiter that minimizes the overall pressure from the vacuum system to a lower selected level that is both safe and conducive for use with patients.
Types of Vacuum Suction Regulators
There are three main types of medical vacuum regulators: continuous, continuous/intermittent, and continuous/high. Each of these regulators come in a variety of patient connection options and inlet connection options. Specialty applications such as pediatric and neonatal are also available. Analog and digital display options are also available for these regulators.
- Continuous – the most commonly used type of medical suction regulator. These units provide continuous suction at the set mmHg while in use. Continuous regulators also offer higher flow rates than intermittent models.
- Continuous/Intermittent – also known as combination units, these vacuum regulators can be set to continuous suction or intermittent suction. In intermittent mode, the until will cycle the suction on/off at the set mmHg. The intermittent timing can be adjusted on the unit, but a typical intermittent timing setting is 16 seconds of suction with 8 seconds of no suction. This combo unit is a great option for medical professionals that are looking for the ability to have both vacuum options available.
- Continuous/High – this suction unit is commonly used for surgical applications or in the operating room environment where high flow rates are needed. These regulators also have higher mmHg vacuum settings that are typically required when performing surgical or operating room procedures.
How do they work?
Vacuum or suction regulators connect to the vacuum wall outlet in the facility room. Once connected to the outlet, a vacuum hose can then be connected to the regulator and from there suction pressure can be adjusted as needed. These devices allow medical professionals to adjust the vacuum/suction pressure as needed during procedures.
Selecting the Right Vacuum Regulator
When choosing a medical vacuum regulator for your facility, it is important to take into how the unit will be used and what environment it is being used in. For example, there are specialty models for neonatal and pediatric applications that have lower flow rates and lower mmHg settings. Also, if the medical suction regulator is being used in a surgical application or operating room environment then you will need to make sure the unit selected has a high enough flow rate and mmHg setting. Additionally, some manufacturers offer a variety of color options for the regulator body to help facilities color coordinate the suction regulators being used. This color coding also makes it easier for the medical professionals to identify which one to connect in to.
Amico currently offers the only vacuum regulator on the market able to detect contamination. The Sentinel regulator has an LED indicator light on the front that will turn on once contamination within the unit has been detected. This is a critical element and can make the difference in a patient life safety setting.
The most popular and reputable manufacturers of vacuum regulators include Allied, Amico, Gentec, and Ohio Medical. Most manufacturers provide a standard warranties of 10 to 12 years on their suction regulators.
For more information, visit our vacuum regulators page or give us a call at 844-339-1110.