Tracheostomy Tubes & Kits Tracheostomy is a surgical procedure which creates an airway in the cervical trachea. Tracheostomy is usually performed due to a blocked airway or difficulty after getting off ventilator support by creating a “stoma” from where a tracheostomy tube can be inserted which can allow the person to breathe. A tracheostomy may be temporary or permanent. Indications for a tracheostomy include:
• Birth defects resulting in improper functioning of airways • Airway burns due to inhalation of corrosive substances • Cancer in the neck • Injury of the chest wall • Injury of the larynx (voice box) • Foreign body obstruction in the airway• Obstructive sleep apnea • Paralysis of the neck muscles • Anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction)• Paralysis of the vocal cords
Benefits of a Tracheostomy
1. A tracheostomy creates a positive pressure ventilation for prolonged period of time 2. To bypass an obstruction in the upper airway 3. To aspirate secretions
Parts of a Tracheostomy Tube
Tracheostomy tubes should be rigid enough to maintain their function but should also be flexible so that minimum tissue is damaged and the patient is comfortable. Tracheostomy tubes consist of an obturator, an outer cannula and an inner cannula. The obturator helps in leading the tracheostomy tube and is removed after the correct placement of the outer cannula. The outer cannula stays in its place and holds the tracheostomy tube while the inner cannula is placed inside the outer cannula and can be removed to clean the buildup of secretions. A tracheostomy tube may have inflatable balloons and cuffs which help to secure it in place.
Types of Tracheostomy Tubes
There are various types of tracheostomy tubes. A tracheostomy tube is chosen keeping in mind the patient’s clinical needs:
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