Tracheostomy Care and tracheal suctioning are high-risk procedures. To avoid poor outcomes, nurses who perform them—whether they’re seasoned veterans or novices—must adhere to evidence-based guidelines. In fact, experienced nurses may overestimate their own trach care competence. Tracheostomy patients aren’t seen only in intensive care units. As patients with more complex conditions are admitted to hospitals, an increasing number are being housed on general nursing units. Trach patients are at high risk for airway obstruction, impaired ventilation, and infection as well as other lethal complications. Skilled bedside nursing care can prevent these complications. This article describes evidence-based guidelines for tracheostomy care, focusing on open and closed suctioning and site care.
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