All About Tracheostomy Tubes

Tracheostomy is the incision made during a tracheotomy surgery wherein an incision is made in the anterior of the neck to make a new passage for the air to enter the trachea. This surgery takes place when the person is incapable of breathing through the nose or the mouth or the air through the nose or the mouth does not reach the tracheal region in the neck. The tracheostomy serves as an independent airway for the person.

What is a Tracheostomy tube?

The tube is an object that is placed inside the stoma and is the medium through which the air enters the trachea. There are four major parts of the tube, the outer cannula, the inner cannula, and the obturator. The obturator is used to place the outer cannula perfectly in position and then is removed carefully. The outer cannula is not removed but the inner one might be removed for cleaning purposes.

What are the different types of tracheostomy tubes?

Cuffed tubes – This type of tubes is used for people who have swallowing difficulties or to patients who are given mechanical ventilation. The cuff in the tube blocks any passage of air around the tube, thus ensuring a well oxygenated supply to the patient. A good example is the Shiley Pediatric Tracheostomy Tube that has a recessed area behind the connector and soft flange material to provide greater comfort and fit for pediatric patients. It helps bypass upper airway obstructions, provides long term ventilation, supports and manages tracheal or bronchial secretions. It comes with smooth, rounded-tip obturator to facilitate insertion.

Shiley Pediatric Tracheostomy Tube
Shiley Pediatric Tracheostomy Tube

Uncuffed tubes – These tubes are used for people who have no danger of aspiration. Due to the absence of the cuff, air can go up to the larynx and upper trachea thus enabling speech. This tube requires higher level of care as it has to be placed accurately to prevent sores in the stoma region. A good example is the Shiley Disposable Cannula Cuffless Fenestrated Tracheostomy Tube which allows the convenience of inner cannula disposability, while permitting the patient to breathe through the upper airway if desired.

Shiley Disposable Inner Cannula Cuffless Fenestrated Tracheostomy Tube

Shiley Disposable Inner Cannula Cuffless Fenestrated Tracheostomy Tube

Fenestrated – The only difference fenestrated tube has in comparison with the others is that it has more than one hole in the outer cannula. It allows air to pass through the vocal cords up to the mouth. This tube enables normal breathing through the mouth, speech, and also expels mucus through the mouth. A good example is the Atos Medical Provox LaryTube which is a special cannula system for patients who need a cannula to stabilize the stoma. It allows for use of Provox HME (Heat and Moisture Exchanger) Cassettes to help laryngectomees achieve pulmonary protection and rehabilitation without having to use adhesives. It also allows immediate postoperative use of an HME.

 

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