When a tracheostomy tube is in the airway the natural(coughing, sneezing ect) removal of secretions is compromised. If secretions are left in the tracheostomy tube it can cause infection or block the tube. If the trach tube blocks it could be very difficult to impossible to breath.
When To Suction?
Your child should be suctioned:
- If mucus is bubbling from the trach or making a rattling sound in the tube or chest
- Frequent coughing
- Anxiousness or restlessness that isn't calmed by cuddling
- Fast shallow breathing
- Bluish, pale, or dusky color around mouth
- Nostrils flaring
- Skin pulling in tightly between ribs and over the collar bone
The child needs to be suctioned during the night you can not leave them unattended, also because the ventilator may pop off.
Equipment for suctioning:
Place all equipment on a clean surface
- Suction machine
- Suction Catheter size ( Hannah is 10 )
- Normal saline incase instillation is required and for rinsing catheter
- Gloves (If your out of the house or for nurses)
- Insert catheter without applying suction to the measured suction depth(Hannah's is 7.5). Do not suction deeper then amount told.
- Apply suction; Rotate the catheter between fingers and slowly pull out catheter. Inserting and withdrawing the catheter should take no longer than 5 seconds. It is difficult to breath during this time and the catheter takes up space in the air way
- Clear the catheter by suctioning clean saline from cup
- Allow child several breaths to recover
- Repeat if necessary
- Place catheter back in clean wrap
Remember to always wash your Hands before dealing with the trach or any of the equipment