What is tracheostomy?
It refers to a medical treatment in which a small hole is opened directly from the throat to the trachea and a suitable tube is inserted to transport the air generated by the respirator directly to the lungs.
Indications for tracheostomy
- Patients who cannot maintain airway patency: those who cannot effectively expectorate due to stroke or central neuropathy.
- Patients whose respirators are not easily detached, such as those with chronic respiratory failure.
The timing of tracheostomy
According to the doctor's judgment based on the patient's condition, tracheostomy can be performed 7 days after intubation in foreign countries if it is estimated that the patient cannot be extubated in a short time, while the time of performing tracheostomy is about 3 weeks after intubation in Taiwan.
Complications of tracheostomy
The incidence of complications is about 5%. Wound bleeding and infection are the most common postoperative complications.
Benefits of tracheostomy
- The patient feels more comfortable as the tube does not pass through the mouth and throat.
- It can help clean the mouth and reduce the occurrence of oral ulcer, and lower the incidence of nosocomial infection.
- The distance is shorter than the length of the endotracheal tube, which is helpful for breathing training.
- It is safer for the patient when the tube is due to be replaced.
- If circumstances permit, the tracheostomy tube can produce vocal sounds or the patient can switch to oral feeding.
- At present, percutaneous tracheostomy can be performed directly at the bedside without going to the operating room. The operation time is short, the wound is small and the complications are fewer.