NurseSim

Performing Tracheostomy Care – Suctioning

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Tracheostomy suctioning is required to ensure the client’s airway remains patent. Tracheostomy suctioning is performed to manage both emergency situations and regular maintenance of the tracheostomy airway. It is important to understand the principles around the safe application of suctioning tracheostomy tubes and infection control. Before performing this procedure, nurses must be cognisant of any contraindications and possible adverse events. They must also be proficient in emergency airway management of a tracheostomy. Frequency of airway suctioning should be determined on an individual client level, taking into account factors such as viscosity and quantity of mucous, neurological and muscular performance and presence of active cough reflexes and efforts (JBI 2013).

Nurses need to comply with industry policies, National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (second edition), organisational guidelines and procedural direction to safely perform this procedure.

Caution must be used 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).

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