A tracheotomy is an operation in which a small opening is made in the windpipe (trachea) through a cut made in the skin on the neck. After the skin has healed, the opening is called a stoma or tracheostomy. A tracheostomy tube is kept in the stoma to keep the hole open. Sometimes people refer to the tracheostomy simply as the "trach".
Two different kinds of tracheostomy tubes are used for patients:
Trach tubes come in a variety of materials: plastic (PVC), silicone and metal. The operating physician will determine which material is best suited for a patient based on the length required, as well as any anatomical challenges to maintain the airway.
A tracheostomy is usually done for one of three reasons:
All tracheostomies are performed because of lack of air reaching the lungs. There are many reasons why sufficient air cannot get to the lungs.
Acute airway obstruction can occur in patients who have undergone tracheostomy or laryngectomy often due to mucous plugging or tube displacement. The level of confidence in managing tracheostomy emergencies depends on the level of critical care experience and previous learning in the management of tracheostomy emergencies. At CARE at HOME we ensure that our nurses have adequate ICU experience. We further reinforce it with hands-on experience in hospitals as well as training on high fidelity manikins at our Safercare Simulation Lab, located in house at CIHS. For further details please visit www.safercare.com. The nurses are trained and evaluated on how to perform CPR (CardioPulmonary Resuscitation) and other emergency actions in the event of an emergency.
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