It goes without saying that it’s not easy to take care of patients, let alone ones that require intensive care.
It’s not easy seeing your loved one requiring the use of a trach and vent. It can be quite overwhelming when you’ve been given the responsibility to nurse them back to health. In fact, artificial mechanical ventilation is complex and requires skill and experience.
But before you make the decision to take full responsibility for your loved one, it’s best to first understand how these machines work.
What is Tracheostomy?
A tracheostomy is an opening that medical experts make via an incision in the neck, into the trachea when an airway is blocked. This is so the patient gets access to oxygen when they suddenly stop or have difficulty breathing.
After the opening is created, a tracheostomy tube is placed into the opening to remove any excess fluid from the lungs.
What Is a Tracheostomy Tube?
A tracheostomy (trach) tube is a very little curved tube that is inserted into the tracheostomy to ensure the stoma opening is clear.
Most tracheostomy tubes comprise of three parts:
- The obturator directs the tracheostomy tube into the trachea before being swiftly removed.
- The outer cannula is the one that keeps the trachea open.
- The inner cannula is placed in the outer cannula. It can be removed, cleaned, and put back in.
You must always have the obturator ready to use right away if the tracheostomy tube needs to be changed. Always have the obturator with you.
A tracheostomy tube requires continuous care. Routine tracheostomy care should be done at least once a day or as instructed by a healthcare provider, in accordance with the patient’s needs. Most of the tracheostomy care, cleaning, and placement can be completed by a professional or home care nurse.
What Does The Tracheostomy Care Include?
- Proper cleaning
- Inspecting the tube and accessories for any defects
- Inspecting the stoma (opening) and surrounding skin for irritation or infection
- Proper placement of the tube
What is a Ventilator?
A ventilator is a special machine used to mechanically pump air, or designated oxygen, into a patient that help the patient to breathe. If a child has a special condition requiring additional oxygen or a breathing aid, then a ventilator is often used. A ventilator not only carries oxygen into the lungs of the patient, but it also transports waste materials (i.e. carbon dioxide) out of the lungs.
Some patients may require help from the ventilator for all day or only part of the time, such as the hours when they are sleeping.
There are several ways in which a ventilator may be used, depending on the extent of the breathing difficulty of the patient and the structural integrity of the respiratory system, primarily the trachea. If the individual has problems breathing on their own accord, the ventilator can be set to “breathe for” the patient. Even though the ventilator is primarily used for pushing air into the lungs, it can also be used to initiate an exhale, although this function is not as commonly used.
Caring for a patient on ventilator at home can be very challenging and requires a team approach to care.
Your nurse will ensure that your ventilator is working properly and the settings are correct. They can also show families how to use the ventilator in case of an emergency when the nurse is not around. Oxygen levels can be measured via the ventilator’s monitoring system, ensuring that proper levels are maintained and do not drop too low.
Other home care services being provided by Golden Health services includes: Pediatrics G-tube, BIPAP, CPAP, Tracheostomy care, Ventilator care, Pulse oximeter, oxygen, medication administration, wound care, Adult nursing care, Attendants care, Companion care, Senior Citizens care.
***Please note that this information is being provided by Golden Health Services, and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or another healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical or health condition. Golden Health Services is a home health care provider.
Our team of highly trained and dedicated staff will provide exceptional care to you or your loved one in the comfort of your home.
For more information on home care services or career opportunities by Golden Health Services, contact us at (215) 289-9005.