A tracheostomy bypasses the normal upper airway mechanisms for humidification, filtration and warming of inspired gases.
Without supplementary humidification, secretions in the airways get thick and sticky, and may block the tracheostomy tube or cause infection.
There are various methods to provide supplementary humidification, and these can be tailored to the patient’s needs:
If the patient is not on oxygen but experiencing copious secretions.
Swedish nose (aka Heat and Moisture Exchanger)
If the patient is not experiencing copious secretions.
Swedish nose with entrained oxygen
If the patient is not experiencing copious secretions but requires supplementary oxygen.
For patients with thick secretions.
Cold water venturi humidification aquapak™ system
For patients on oxygen and/or high secretion load.
For patients on oxygen.