Notes On Nursing Tracheotomized Patients

Bedside tray should contain:

Duplicate cannula


Trousseau dilator


Dressing forceps

Sterile vaseline




Gauze sponges

Gauze squares

Probe-pointed curved bistoury.

1. Room should be abundantly ventilated, as free from dust and lint

as possible, and the air should be moistened by steam in winter.

2. Keep mouth clean. Tooth brush. Rinse alcohol 1:10.

3. Sponge away secretion after the cough before drawn in.

4. Remove inner cannula (not outer) as often as needed. Not less

often than every hour. Replace immediately. Never boil a cannula until

you have thoroughly cleaned it.

5. Obstruction of cannula calling for cleaning indicated by:

Blue or ashy color.

Indrawing at clavicles, sternal notch, epigastrium.

Noisy breathing. (Learn sound.)

6. Surgeon (in our cases) will change outer cannula once daily or


7. Duplicate cannulae.

8. Be careful in cleaning cannulae not to damage.

9. Watch for loose parts on cannula.

10. Change dressing (in our cases) as often as soiled. Not less

often than every hour. Large squares. Never narrow strips.

11. Watch color of lips and ears and face.

[299] 12. Report at once if food or water leaks through wound.

(Coughing and choking).

13. Never leave a tracheotomized patient unwatched during the first

days or weeks, according to case.

14. Remember Trousseau dilator or hemostat will spread the tracheal

wound or fistula when cannula is out.

15. Remember life depends on a clear cannula if the patient gets no

air through the mouth.

16. Remember it takes very little to clog the small cannula of a


17. Remember a tracheotomized patient cannot call for help.

18. Decannulation. Testing by corking partially. Watch corks

not too small, or broken. Attach them by braided silk

thread. Pure rubber cord ground down makes best cork.

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