A short, tracheostomy length, single use open suction catheter, made of relatively flexible plastic material such as natural or synthetic rubber, polypropylene, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, nylon or like material having the flexibility and resilience necessary for use in the suctioning of the airway of tracheostomized patients in order to remove tracheobronchial secretions from such a patient with a tracheostomy tube in place. The tracheostomy length catheter has a fitting for connecting the proximal end (the end nearest the source of vacuum) to a source of vacuum. There is a valve, such as a thumb controlled valve, at the proximal end used for controlling the extent of the vacuum or low pressure at the distal end of the suction catheter (the end nearest the patient). The valve regulates the vacuum by covering or partially covering a vent port with the thumb of the clinician who is doing the suctioning of the patient. The overall length of the tracheostomy length suction catheter, including the standard thumb valve used to control vacuum (about 4.5 cm in length), is about one-half the length of known and commonly used single use suction catheters which are about about 50 cm to about 61 cm or 20 inches to 24 inches. The overall length of the tracheostomy length suction catheter with the standard thumb valve being about 18.50 cm-40.0 cm or about 7.25 inches-15.75 inches. Further the tracheostomy length suction catheter may incorporate one of a variety of tip designs or components at the distal end thereof to improve the effectiveness of the removal of the secretions and to reduce the mucosa damage.