The essential guidelines for caring for a tracheostomy patient involve preventing the complications of the procedure, facilitating communication, and ensuring safety for a patient, states NursingTimes.net. A tracheostomy is a surgical procedure to make a hole in the neck that goes into the windpipe. The patient can use the hole for a short time or forever, and this depends on the severity of the condition.
Airway obstruction is a common problem that a tracheostomy patient is likely to face. This condition is a medical emergency and can lead to cardiac arrest. Nursing a patient involves close observation in a room with a suction apparatus and functional oxygen. Pulse oximetry is essential in monitoring a patient's respiratory rate, notes NursingTimes.net. It is necessary to use a humidifier in the patient's room to prevent the suction and secretions from getting dry. Water humidifiers or heat moisture exchange units help.
The position of the stoma below the vocal cords level makes it difficult for patients to communicate. Proper communication is usually challenging, but written and nonverbal forms of communication can be helpful. Learning the complications of tracheostomy, such as constipation, altered body image, ulceration and dysphagia, helps in caring for the patient. The tube should always be free of mucus, and a cloth should protect the hole when the patient goes out, according to MedlinePlus.