IMPORTANT SHOUT-OUT TO ANYONE USING A DeVILBISS SUCTION PUMP:
|Model 7305 with original |
If you have an older gray DeVilbiss suction pump (7305 Homecare Suction Unit), or even if you recently switched to a newer pump, you probably have noticed that the canisters have changed and the filters are now BUILT INTO the top of the canister lid. This new design was made specifically for their new pump - Vacu-Aide Quiet Suction Unit but they made the design to also fit the gray machines and have stopped producing the old canisters with the external bacteria filter.
|Vacu-Aide Quiet Suction with |
new multi-model canister.
PROBLEM - THIS FILTER CANNOT GET WET! IF IT GETS WET, THE MACHINE OCCLUDES AND WILL NOT SUCK!!
Here is what happened to me -
My trached child, Rebekah, vomited in the middle of the night. As all parents of trached kids probably fear, my worst nightmare was realized - it went INTO her trach and she aspirated. I went to suction her, and the motor was working but the tubing had no suction. The canister appeared to be occluded. I had just replaced the canister with the new canister model that I received with my monthly supplies. I thought maybe I had installed it incorrectly. Let me tell you, I panicked! Thank God I kept an old canister and I was able to grab the old one, switch to the old filter, and I was able to get her airway cleared.
I wash my canisters religiously and even before first use. I have personally destroyed 3 of the new filters before even using a canister successfully because I washed the lid and did not remove the top piece with the filter. After all, there were no instructions, no warnings, how was I to know? I always wash my canisters daily, even before first use. My daughter doesn't need constant suctioning, so it wasn't until the next situation that I finally realized the problem - THE FILTER WAS DESTROYED AND OCCLUDED THE CANISTER.
So I am now trying to remember (after 3 1/2 years of using the old canister system) to remove the top part of the lid with the filter. Last time I did this by the sink where I was washing the rest of the canister unit, guess what happened? Yep, the piece with the filter fell into the sink too and got wet.
What a poor and DANGEROUS design!! AND WHY DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS CHANGE?? There was no instruction, no warning, no information whatsoever on how to use the new style canister. My DME didn't know to order extra "new" filters for me or tell me not to wash the top connector to the lid. I did not know to call the company for instructions or look on the website.
So I called DeVilbiss Customer Service to complain and warn them that this topic has come up on several special needs boards. I explained that I need a filter ASAP. I am told the part number to order more filters (7305D-635 for a pack of 12). Well, that's NICE, but what if I had not had an old canister/filter lying around? It's "nice" that I can order more filters, but that certainly didn't help the immediate situation. I did search for quite some time online for these filters. All of the online suppliers, even nextag and amazon, only have the OLD filters! So I don't even know where you are supposed to purchase these. Bottom line, if I didn't have an old canister, I would've had to call 911 and my daughter might have ended up with aspiration pneumonia, or worse.
But back to the call... I also asked customer service why there was no warning or instructions. I was told the online FAQs for the Vacu-Aide Quiet Suction does say that a wet filter will occlude the canister. Sure enough:
Q7: When should the filter of the disposable canister be replaced?
A7: 1. If it becomes wet (it will immediately occlude when wet)
2. Between patients
3. When disposing of a used canister (the filter actually becomes a plug for the suction
canister when disposed of)
However, this isn't even my model! I have the 7305. It is no where to be found on my model's FAQs. In fact, the manual and the picture for my model still have the old canister and filter system (which is no longer being made). But the an improved 7305 model IS still being made. So why isn't this vital information updated and posted on the website? Once again, the info is with the new pump info.
I did find an example of the old versus new canister set up: DeVilbiss Disposable Suction Container Kit Configuration.
So, if you have a DeVilbiss pump, please call them and tell them:
- The new design is unsafe,
- The marketing regarding the new canister is terrible,
- The instructions and warnings for use are missing,
- The filters are difficult to find, and
- Every bottle should come with an extra filter "just in case" you accidentally drop your canister and get the filter wet, wash the whole lid, or knock the filter top into the sink (like me).
Here is the customer service number: 800-338-1988