How Do You Care for a Tracheostomy at Home?

How Do You Care for a Tracheostomy at Home?

Caring for a tracheostomy at home involves inspecting the stoma for infection and cleaning the tracheostomy tube at least daily, according to Cleveland Clinic. The number of steps depends on whether the tube includes an inner cannula.

Stand over the bathroom sink to perform tracheostomy care, advises Cleveland Clinic. Start by washing your hands and putting on sterile gloves. The first step of the process is to suction the tube.

If the tube includes an inner cannula, remove it and clean it thoroughly with hydrogen peroxide, including the inside, using a pipe cleaner, states Cleveland Clinic. Rinse the cannula, dry it thoroughly with mesh pads, and reinsert it, taking care to lock it into place.

Next, remove the gauze around the stoma, checking the skin around the opening for signs of infection, instructs Cleveland Clinic. Soak some cotton-tipped swabs in a mixture of half water and half hydrogen peroxide, and clean the skin as well as the exposed parts of the outer cannula, drying both carefully.

Change the trach tube ties by cutting a section long enough to go around the neck twice, states Cleveland Clinic. Remove only one side of the old tie, but don't remove it completely until the new one is in place. Lace the new tie through one hole in the neck plate, around the neck, through the other hole of the neck plate, and around the neck again.

Use a square knot to hold the tie securely, then make sure there is no more than two fingers of slack between the tie and the neck, says Cleveland Clinic. Cut away the old tie. Place a fine-mesh pad under the tie and neck plate by folding it or cutting a slit in it.