A Toomey&tmark; syringe is used for irrigating and evacuating during medical procedures. The basic syringe has a blunt tip which can be fitted with a cap or used as-is. This design can also be useful for activities like tube feeding, where it can be snapped onto the tube to deliver a nutrition bolus. Medical supply companies make a range of sizes with interchangeable tips for different applications, and they are available over the counter in many regions.
Some designs include a loop on the plunger to allow a medical provider to use it one-handed, which can free up the other hand for other tasks. Others have features like a clip that will lock the syringe once the plunger is pulled back to maintain suction. This can be important when someone is evacuating or aspirating a site and doesn’t want to inadvertently lose suction and force liquid out of the syringe.
For irrigation, the Toomey&tmark; syringe can be filled with water, saline, or other materials and used to gently clean a site. Medical practitioners can control the amount of fluid and pressure with the plunger to flush out wounds, removing dirt, debris, and other undesirable components. Emergency rooms and operating rooms frequently rely on this equipment to clean wounds before closing them. Patients performing wound care at home may also be taught how to use a Toomey&tmark; syringe for some applications.
By changing the tip of the syringe, a variety of tasks may be performed. Some can be fitted with tips to lock onto catheters and other syringes, for example. Others can be attached to trocars, short tubes with sharpened edges designed for insertion into the body, for procedures like liposuction. The Toomey&tmark; syringe can be used to carefully control the amount of material removed from the site, with a lock to keep the contents in the syringe.
In tube feeding, patients or care providers can open the cap on the tube and attach a Toomey&tmark; syringe filled with a nutritional mixture. By gently depressing the plunger, they force the mixture into the tube. Syringes can also be used to irrigate tubes and catheters with saline or heparin flushes to prevent clotting and keep them clean.
These medical products are usually sold in bulk, although they can come individually packaged to make it easier to sterilize them for use in settings like the operating room. Patients who need Toomey&tmark; syringes for tube feeding, home wound care, and similar activities may receive an initial supply from their doctors. If they need to use them for a longer period of time, it may be necessary to buy them from a drug store or medical supplier.