Tracheostomy is an important tool for managing critically ill patients or patients with upper airway obstructions. A tracheostomy tube can be placed either temporarily (e.g., surgical procedure) or long term (e.g., laryngeal paralysis).
Types of tracheostomy tubes:
Most tubes are supplied with an obturator, which aids in insertion and is removed after placement
All tubes have a 15 mm connector; this is the same fitting as an endotracheal tube and allows hookup to anesthesia hose
All tubes have pliable wings or flanges; this allows tying the tubes in place with cotton (umbilical) tape or gauze
Tubes are cuffed or noncuffed; cuffed tubes are needed when assisting ventilation
Tubes are single lumen cannula
All tubes are 100% silicone that softens at body temperature
All cuffed tubes are high volume, low pressure and profile
Note: Tracheostomy tubes are sized by their ID tubes, should be ~ 50% of the tracheal lumen width. The trachea changes diameter during the respiratory cycle. The tracheal body is wider than the larynx.