Tapes and Dressings

The tapes secure the tracheostomy in place and prevent it becoming dislodged. The dressing protects the skin around the tracheostomy and prevent it becoming irritated or macerated.

The tapes and dressings should be changed once a day in hospital or as required (becomes soiled or dislodged).

This is a two-person procedure using an aseptic non-touch technique (ANTT); one person will lead and one person will assist.

To change the tracheostomy tapes and dressing:

  1. Explain the procedure to the patient.
  2. Assistant should hold the tracheostomy tube still throughout the procedure.
  3. Remove the used tapes and soiled dressing, and dispose.
  4. Clean the site around the stoma and tracheostomy tube with gauze and saline.
  5. Dry the site with clean gauze.
  6. Check the skin around the stoma site for signs of infection, pressure damage, bleeding and overgranulation.
  7. Apply a clean dressing under the tracheotomy tube.
  8. Attach a new tracheostomy tape to secure the tracheostomy.
  9. Test the tension of the tapes: you should only be able to pass two fingers between the tapes and the neck.
  10. Trim the excess tape.
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