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What is Tracheostomy Tube

2023-10-18

A tracheostomy tube, also known as a trach tube, is a medical device that is inserted into a surgically created opening in the trachea (windpipe) called a tracheostomy. The tube is placed below the level of the vocal cords to provide an alternative airway and allow direct access to the lungs. Tracheostomy tubes are used when a person requires long-term mechanical ventilation, has difficulty breathing, or needs airway management.

The tracheostomy tube typically consists of three main components:

  1. Outer Cannula: This is the main tube that remains in the trachea. It has a curved shape to fit the anatomy of the neck and has flanges or wings on the sides to hold it in place. The outer cannula has an outer and inner diameter, with the inner diameter providing the passage for airflow.

  2. Inner Cannula: The inner cannula is a removable tube that sits inside the outer cannula. It can be easily removed for cleaning or replacement. The inner cannula helps maintain the patency of the tracheostomy tube and can be changed if it becomes blocked or soiled.

  3. Cuff (optional): Some tracheostomy tubes have an inflatable cuff around the outer cannula. The cuff is inflated to create a seal in the trachea, which can prevent aspiration of secretions or provide positive pressure ventilation. Cuffed tracheostomy tubes are commonly used for patients on mechanical ventilation.

Tracheostomy tubes come in different sizes and designs to suit the individual needs of patients. They are typically made of medical-grade materials such as silicone or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The size and type of tracheostomy tube selected depend on factors such as the patient's age, anatomy, medical condition, and the purpose of the tracheostomy.

It is important to note that the insertion and management of tracheostomy tubes should be performed by trained healthcare professionals to ensure patient safety and proper care.

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