A tracheostomy is an opening (made by an incision) through the neck into the trachea (windpipe). A tracheostomy opens the airway and aids breathing.
A tracheostomy may, depending on the person’s condition, be temporary or permanent.
At our Care Centre, conditions that result in the need for a permanent or temporary Tracheostomy may include:
- Acquired Brain Injury
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Locked in Syndrome
- Prolonged Disorders of Consciousness
If necessary, the tube can be connected to an oxygen supply and a breathing machine called a ventilator. The tube can also be used to suction out any fluid that has built up in the throat and windpipe. A tracheostomy may be created for a number of reasons, including:
- delivering oxygen to the lungs when a person is unable to breathe normally after an injury or accident, or because their muscles are very weak
- allowing a person to breathe if their throat is blocked – this can be caused by a swelling, a tumour, or something stuck in their throat
- reducing the risk of food or fluid going into your lungs (aspiration) if coughing proves difficult