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A few words about tracheal tubes

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A few words about tracheal tubes

General Info

The tracheal tube (or tracheostomy tube) is the most basic resource in the daily life of tracheostomy patients. Depending on the case, a different type of tracheal tube is recommended. The stay of the tube can be temporary or even permanent. It is important for the patient and their relatives to have a general knowledge in order to use them properly and keep them in the best possible condition.

Types of tracheal tubes

A basic distinction can be made between double and single lumen tracheal tubes. Double-lumen tracheal tubes have an inner tube and generally remain in place for a relatively long time. On the other hand, single-lumen tracheal tubes do not have an inner tube and can be left in for as little as 1-3 days. In both categories the tracheal tubes may have an air cuff

Cleaning and disinfection

The hygiene of the tracheostomy is a very important matter that we must take care of from the very first days. Depending on the case, tracheal tubes may need to be cleaned several times a day. As general steps we can say the following:

  1. We remove the inner tube (and the outer one if possible) and wash it with warm water and soap to remove any secretions that are inside or outside. Where necessary we can also use tracheostomy brushes or cleaning columns
  2. Then for the disinfection of the tracheal tube, the appropriate way is to use a special disinfection liquid for tracheal tubes as many cleaners on the market are aggressive and wear the tubes. Alternatively, you can disinfect with oxygen. Never use strong household cleaners, dental cleaners or strong alcohol.
  3. Rinse the tubes under running water and let them dry.

Under no circumstances should you boil tracheal tubes, whether metal or plastic, as this deteriorates the materials and rapidly shortens their lifespan.

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