Mucus Extractor: Uses in Infants, Features, and Different Sizes

Mucus extractor, also called bulb syringe, is a medical instrument used for aspiration of secretion from the oropharynx in newborns and aid respiration. It is used in clearing the nose of a newborn baby who is having a difficulty in blowing into a tissue. It clears the nasal passage and prevents mucus from running out of the nose.

The extractor has a tracheal suction tube, suction catheter, a connector, and one container. A mucus extractor has the advantage of being comfortable for the baby nostril. It is also hygienic.


  • Sampling of tracheal / bronchial mucus of newborns, children, and adults for laboratory micro biological examinations.
  • Aspiration of mucus congestion in the upper airway in newborns.

Different Sizes of Mucus Extractor

There are different sizes or gauges of the mucous extractor, each with a capacity of either 25 ml, 40ml, 100ml, or 175ml. The suction length can be between 40 and 55 cm.

  • 6FG (Light green): with a length of 45 cm, and outside diameter of 2 mm
  • 8FG (Blue) has a length of 45 cm, and outside diameter of 2.7 mm
  • 10FG (Black) with a length of 45 cm, and outside diameter of 3.3 mm
  • 12FG (White) length of 55 cm, and outside diameter of 4 mm
  • 14FG (Green) with a length of 55 cm, and outside diameter of 4.7 mm
  • 16FG (Orange) has a length of 55 cm, and outside diameter of 5.3 mm
  • 18FG (Red) with a length of 55 cm, and outside diameter of 6.0 mm
  • 20FG (Yellow) with a length of 55 cm, and outside diameter of 6.6 mm
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  • The mucus extractor must be sterile.
  • The material must be made from non-toxic, medical grade polymer.
  • It must contain a clear, transparent container to enable visual examination of the aspirate.
  • The proximal end of the suction tube should have a funnel shape connector for easy connection to the suction instrument.
  • May come with or without the feature of a bacterial filter at the suction end of the extractor.
  • It must not cause trauma or friction during insertion and suction. Hence, it must have low friction catheter surface with open end silk smooth round tip.
  • There should be a spare plug cap to seal the container during transport of the specimen to the lab, or aseptic disposal.
Parts of a Mucus Extractor

How to Remove Mucus with the Mucus Extractor

  • Place the baby on his/her back and tilt the head slightly up
  • Remove the air by squeezing the bulb portion of the mucus extractor
  • Gently insert the tip inside the nostril of the baby and release the bulb. The suction created by releasing the bulb pulls the mucus from the nostril of the baby into the extractor.
  • Never insert the catheter past the back of the nose or throat
  • Expel the mucus into a tissue
  • Clean the tip of the mucus with a tissue and repeat the process till the desired result.
  • Clean the other nostril using the same method.
  • Dispose the mucus extractor after use, and do not reuse
  • Use the instrument for only one patient
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