Tracheostomy Suctioning, Pediatric

A child may leave the hospital with a tracheostomy (trach) tube in their neck. The trach admits air and removes secretions. The trach may be connected to a breathing machine all the time or for certain periods. Since the mouth and nose are no longer used for breathing, saliva and mucus build up in the windpipe and must be removed by suctioning. Removing mucus and other fluids keeps the airway clear. This helps the child breathe better.

Suctioning is only one part of the challenge of caring for a child with a trach outside the hospital. Ask how to use all the equipment that you will use at home. Ask your caregiver how to use an Ambu bag. Have a plan for power failure or running out of supplies. Practice until you are sure you can care for your child on your own.

RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS

Most suctioning procedures are quick and without side effects. Possible problems include:

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

For those children with a tracheostomy, keep the area around the opening in the neck clean to help prevent infection. Clean around the opening (stoma) at least twice a day as described below. If a smell or odor develops around the neck or opening, clean the area every 8 hours until the odor is gone.

Procedure For Suctioning

Procedure for Cleaning an Inner Cannula

For children with a tracheostomy that has a reusable inner cannula, follow these instructions:

Procedure for Changing a Disposable Inner Cannula

For children with a tracheostomy that has a disposable inner cannula, follow these instructions:

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF: