Objectives: Manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) instruments vary in quality, cost, and availability. This evaluation of MVA instruments was conducted to provide decision-makers with information to assist them in determining which instruments to purchase for their specific health care settings.
Methods: Nine MVA devices were evaluated for durability, quality, safety, and usability. Study data came from device specifications, laboratory-based technical studies, and field evaluations.
Results: Equipment durability is compromised by high temperatures, quality is compromised by manufacturing defects, and design is key to safe reuse. All MVA instructions are written at advanced reading levels, and device assembly was difficult for most study participants.
Conclusions: No single brand of MVA instrument is perfectly suited for every setting. Users can evaluate the appropriateness of MVA instrument characteristics by reviewing the elements assessed in this evaluation, which, by complementing the experience of administrators and clinicians, should enable them to determine which MVA is best for their environment.