NurseSim

Performing Tracheostomy Care – Changing Tapes

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Tracheostomy tapes are usually required to secure a tracheostomy in place. In clients who have had microvascular free flap surgery, the tracheostomy tube will be sutured in place to prevent dislodgement. Tapes or ties are contraindicated in these clients, as they may compromise the vascular supply of the flap (McMurray & Vu 2014). It is important to understand the principles around safe application and changing of tracheostomy tapes. Different types of tapes may be used and the nurse will need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Nurses will need to comply with industry requirements, National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (second edition) organisational guidelines and procedural direction to safely perform this procedure.

Always use caution when caring for a person with a tracheostomy in regards to safety and airway management. Emergency equipment should be at the client’s bedside at all times (Xue 2013).

Two nurses are required to change tracheostomy tapes to prevent dislodgement of the tracheostomy and one must be an RN who is competent at performing the procedure. The dressing may be changed at the same time.

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