Q. Why is a tracheostomy performed?
A tracheostomy is usually done for one of three reasons: (1) to bypass an obstructed upper airway; (2) to clean and remove secretions from the airway; and (3) to more easily, and usually more safely, deliver oxygen to the lungs.
Q. Will my child be able to swim with a tracheostomy?
Some kids with trachs do swim. For kids who can cap their tubes (don't have an obstructed upper airway), it's a bit less risky. However, swimming with a trach is not recommended. The danger of drowning, near drowning (brain damage), and aspiration pneumonia is just too great. When a child has a trach the water goes directly into the lungs. There is no gag reflex to prevent aspiration.
Q. What are the implications if my child gets a cold or flu?
A tracheostomy will bypass the normal upper respiratory structures, and therefore there is a higher chance that she can both spread and receive microorganisms (virus, bacteria, etc) more easily. Frequent hand washing is the best defense against colds and flu.
Q. What is Family Centered Care?
Q. Can I travel with a tracheostomy?
Q. My child has been decannulated. What do I do with all the left-over equipment and supplies?
- Post items to the “Pass It On” Message board (donations only)
- Send a list of items to the trach-ties listserv.
- Post your items on www.tracheotomy.info in the supplies section.
- Selling items on eBay or craigslist
- Find a local group that will accept medical donations.
- Ask your child’s doctor that did your trach care has others needing supplies.
- Check with local visiting nurse/hospice programs
- Local college with a nursing & surgical tech program might need supplies for teaching.
- Local church or mission groups might accept supply donations.
- There might be a parent-to-parent support program for families with special healthcare needs who know of families who need equipment.