Tracheostomy tubes may be inserted for a number of reasons
To facilitate weaning from positive pressure ventilation in acute respiratory failure or prolonged ventilation.
- To secure and clear an airway in the upper respiratory tract where obstruction is a risk.
- To facilitate the removal of respiratory secretions.
- To protect/minimise risk of aspiration in the patient with poor or absent cough reflex.
- To obtain an airway in patients with injuries or surgery to the head and neck area.
In certain circumstances the tracheostomy may facilitate:
- Improved oral hygiene for the intubated patient
- Decreased requirement for sedation in the intubated patient
- Oral movement for communication, nutrition and hydration (with manipulation)
- Reduction in damage to the larynx, mouth or nose from prolonged endotracheal intubation
- Vocalisation (with manipulation)
- Improved patient comfort
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