Tracheostomy management: General knowledgeTTracheostomy management: General knowledgeTracheostomy management: General knowledgeEnglishRespiratoryChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)Lungs;TracheaRespiratory systemNon-drug treatmentCaregivers Adult (19+) Hospital healthcare providersNA2017-06-29T04:00:00ZReshma Amin, MD, FRCPC, MSc;Faiza Syed, BHSc, RRT;Tuyen Tran, RRT000Flat ContentHealth A-Z

 

 

Tracheostomy management: General knowledge2915.00000000000Tracheostomy management: General knowledgeTracheostomy management: General knowledgeTEnglishRespiratoryChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)Lungs;TracheaRespiratory systemNon-drug treatmentCaregivers Adult (19+) Hospital healthcare providersNA2017-06-29T04:00:00ZReshma Amin, MD, FRCPC, MSc;Faiza Syed, BHSc, RRT;Tuyen Tran, RRT000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<h2>​​What is a tracheotomy?</h2><p>A tracheotomy is a hole through the skin in the front of the neck and into the trachea. The hole is created during surgery. The openin​g in the neck is called a stoma.</p><h2>What is a tracheostomy tube?</h2><p>A tracheostomy tube is a tube that is inserted through the stoma and keeps the stoma open.</p> <figure class="asset-c-100"> <span class="asset-image-title">Tracheostomy tube</span> <img alt="A tracheostomy tube goes into the trachea and functions as a breathing tube." src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/tracheostomy_tube_anatomy_EN.jpg" /> <figcaption class="asset-image-caption">Breathing usually happens through the nose or mouth. With a tracheostomy tube, the tube becomes the main point of entry for air before it travels to the lungs.</figcaption> </figure> <h2>Why does my child need a tracheostomy tube?</h2><p>Your child needs tracheostomy tube to help with their breathing. The tracheostomy tube can:</p><ul><li>bypass a block in the upper airway</li><li>help manage your child's <a href="/Article?contentid=2927&language=English">secretions</a></li><li>keep the airway safe if your child’s cough or gag reflex is not working properly</li><li>allow your child to receive <a href="/Article?contentid=2937&language=English">long-term ventilation</a> at home.</li></ul><h2>What changes can I expect in my child once they have a tracheostomy tube?</h2> <figure> <span class="asset-image-title">A tracheostomy tube</span> <img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/IMD-TrachManagement2_EN.jpg" alt="A tracheostomy tube on a child’s neck, held in place with ties" /> <figcaption class="asset-image-caption">A tracheostomy tube is inserted into the tracheostomy (windpipe) in the neck and held in place with ties that go around the neck.</figcaption></figure> <h3>Physical appearance</h3><p>A tracheostomy tube can be seen on the front of the neck. It may take some time for you and others to get used to seeing your child's neck look different.</p><h3>Humidification (adding moisture to the air your child breathes)</h3><p>When your child breathes through a tracheostomy tube, the air goes right into their lungs rather than through the nose and mouth. As a result, the air is not warmed or moistened. However, you can use <a href="/Article?contentid=2921&language=English">humidification adjuncts (attachments) or systems</a> to moisten the air your child breathes.</p><h3>Quality of air reaching lungs</h3><p>Because the air your child breathes in bypasses the nose and mouth, it can still contain tiny amounts of dirt, dust and germs that would normally be filtered out. As a result, your child may have more frequent lung infections once they have a tracheostomy tube.</p><h3>Secretions</h3><p>Your child's cough is the best way to clear any dirt, dust or germs that your child breathes into their lungs. With a tracheostomy tube in place, your child's cough will not be as strong. This may lead to a build-up of secretions (mucus), which would normally be swallowed or coughed out. Your child may need help to clear these secretions through <a href="/Article?contentid=2927&language=English">suctioning</a>.</p><h3>Eating and drinking</h3><p>If your child was able to eat or drink by mouth before the tracheostomy tube was inserted, it may take some time for them to be able to <a href="/Article?contentid=2950&language=English">eat with a tracheostomy tube in place</a>. The occupational therapist will work with your child to assess their swallowing safety.</p><h3>Speaking</h3><p>In general, a tracheostomy interferes with a child’s speech because exhaled air goes out the tracheostomy opening rather than through the voice box. However, <a href="/Article?contentid=2969&language=English">communication devices​</a> and techniques for redirecting airflow can help your child produce speech.</p><h3>Constipation</h3><p>A tracheostomy tube may impair a child’s ability to strain when having a bowel movement. This can lead to constipation. Your child may need a good bowel regimen to resolve this. Your child’s doctor or dietitian can offer more advice.</p> <a class="btn btn-primary" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/trachvent">Return to trach-vent learning hub</a> <br>Tracheostomy management: General knowledgeTruehttps://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=2916&language=Englishhttps://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=2914&language=English

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