To reduce trauma related to frequent nasal suctioning, a noninvasive method of nasopharyngeal suctioning has been found to be very effective and without side effects. Sterile 0.9% saline solution is instilled drop wise into one nostril from a 5-mL syringe and suctioned from the other nostril using a Neotech little sucker or De Lee suction catheter, attached to a central vacuum source (suction pressure of 100 mmHg). This results in passage of fluid and sticky secretions from one nostril and nasopharynx to the other nostril which gets aspirated. We have stopped inserting catheters into nostrils for suctioning for over a decade in our unit.
See chapter 34 "Nursing Care and Endotracheal Suction in:
Prakash Manikoth, FRCPCH