Nasal congestion is a common symptom of upper respiratory tract infections, such as bronchiolitis, in newborns and infants. Because newborns are obligate nose breathers, any congestion presents a challenge during feeding and sleeping. These infants become frustrated when they cannot breathe while feeding and tend to have disturbed sleep when their nasal passages are occluded. This often leads to dehydration and irritability. Although the infant bulb syringe (above) can often alleviate the congestion, other commercial products may be able to more forcefully clean out the nasal mucus (e.g., NoseFrida, Bubzi Nasal Aspirator).
Trick of the Trade: DIY Nasal Snot Aspirator
In the Emergency Department, you may encounter families who may not have the resources to purchase or be aware of commercial aspiration devices for children. The concept behind our DIY Nasal Snot Aspirator is to allow the caregiver to suction the child’s nose using the negative pressure generated from the caregiver’s own mouth. The left video demonstrates how the NoseFrida works, and the right video demonstrates our DIY Nasal Snot Aspirator. Note that the specimen trap serves as the protective “filter”, or barrier, between the child’s suctioned mucus and the caregiver’s mouth. Thanks to Stephany Landry, RN, BSN for sharing this trick of the trade.
Equipment Needed: DIY nasal snot aspirator
- Left: Little Sucker Aspirator [Amazon]
- Middle: Short suction tubing
- Right: Mucous specimen trap, 40 cc [Amazon]
Description of the Trick
- Suction tubing: Attach one end to the Little Sucker Aspirator and the other end to the short connector port on the specimen trap.
- Instill some saline drops into the child’s nose.
- Insert the aspirator tip of your contraption into the child’s nostril.
- Have the caregiver suck out through the “straw” attached on top of the specimen trap.
The authors and ALiEM do not have any affiliation with any of these device companies.