Parental report of pediatric tracheostomy care

Author(s): Bahng SC; VanHala S; Nelson VS; Hurvitz EA; Roloff DW; Grady EA; Lewis CC 

Journal Info: Country of Publication: UNITED STATES NLM ID: 2985158R ISSN: 0003-9993 Subsets: AIM; IM 


OBJECTIVE: There are little data on the actual care given pediatric tracheostomy patients in their homes. Information on the use of supplies and on techniques and frequency of care is valuable for a better understanding of the needs of this population. 

DESIGN: Questionnaires were distributed by mail or at clinic visits from May 1995 to June 1996 to a convenience sample of tracheotomized patients at the University of Michigan Pediatric Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation clinic. 

SETTING: Tertiary care clinic. 

RESULTS: Clean technique for suctioning was reported by 96.7% of subjects and the rest reported sterile technique. Fifty percent of subjects reported reusing suction catheters. Cleaning solutions used to clean suction catheters for reuse varied. Tracheostomy tube reuse was reported by 55% of subjects. Sixty percent of those who reused tracheostomy tubes had had pneumonia within the previous year, whereas only 25% of those who never reused the tracheostomy tube had pneumonia in the same time period. 

CONCLUSIONS: Suctioning frequency, suction catheter, and tracheostomy tube reuse and cleaning methods are variables that warrant further investigation of safety and efficacy.