The tracheostomy cuff (when present) provides a seal to enable mechanical ventilation.
It also provides some protection against aspiration of secretions from the upper airway.
Over-inflation of the cuff may cause damage to the trachea. Conversely, too little pressure places the patient at risk of aspiration and difficulties with mechanical ventilation due to persistent air leak.
The pressure within the cuff should be checked once a shift or as required with a hand-held pressure manometer and should be maintained between 20 – 25cmH2O.
To check the cuff pressure: