Tracheostomy Care at Home: A Complete Guide

Tracheostomy Care at Home: A Complete Guide

While a tracheostomy is not necessarily something a person might actively seek out, it is an incredible solution to a serious problem. Whether you’re dealing with a premature infant who can’t breathe on their own or an aging parent who’s suffering from a chronic lung disease, a tracheostomy is an option that allows a person to live longer and recover in the long run. Additionally, there are ways to make the process more comfortable for the patient. One of those ways involves bringing the patient home from the hospital and using the fantastic resource that’s known as home health care.


Medical Conditions

There are many misconceptions regarding the purpose of a tracheostomy. In fact, there’s a myriad of reasons why an individual might need a tracheostomy. Additionally, many medical conditions require the use of tracheostomy. Under the umbrella of airway problems, there are a number of conditions. Cystic hygroma, laryngectomy, and tracheomalacia are a few of the conditions.


Cystic Hygroma

When someone has a cystic hygroma, it’s considered a tumor. It’s a sack that’s filled with fluid. Though it can be found anywhere in the body, it’s typically found in the head or neck area. If it’s found in the neck, a tracheostomy is a good solution in order to address the issue. It can be found in the ultrasound while the baby is still in the womb. It can also develop in adults as time progresses. There are many genetic and environmental reasons why it occurs


Whether a person has cancer in the larynx, radiation necrosis, or an extreme injury to the neck, a laryngectomy is a part of the medical journey to recovery. A laryngectomy is a surgery that physicians perform in order to remove the larynx. Since this process involves the trachea, a tracheostomy provides access to the neck in an efficient way.


Since it happens so effortlessly, many people don’t think about the breathing process and how much of a miracle it really is. When it’s time to breathe, the air travels through the airways. Unfortunately, the airways can collapse for multiple reasons. If the airways collapse, this is called tracheomalacia. In order to support the airways in the ability to function, a tracheostomy is a viable solution.


Lung Diseases 

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

This disease tends to be caused by a long history of cigarette smoking. Emphysema and bronchitis are other conditions that can cause this disease as well. When someone has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, they suffer because there’s not enough airflow from the lungs. When the disease gets severe, this is when surgeons will result in using a tracheostomy in order to relieve the patient.

Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia

This lung disease has a pattern of impacting newborn babies and infants. This is especially common when they’re born prematurely. When they’re born prematurely and need a respirator, there are times when the respirator causes damage to the lungs. While it is treatable, it can have some long-term consequences, such as breathing issues. Much like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a tracheostomy is an option for really severe cases. The tracheostomy is considered when the patient really needs to stay on the ventilator for longer than usual. 

Diaphragm Dysfunction

Dysfunction of the diaphragm happens for a number of reasons, including sleep issues, hypersomnia, and a low tolerance for exercise. When someone has a weak diaphragm, this can be a sign of autoimmune diseases or neuromuscular disorders. However, the tracheostomy comes into play when the diaphragm becomes paralyzed. This impacts the ability to allow airflow throughout the body. In this case, a tracheostomy is necessary.


Need for Prolonged Respiratory and Ventilator Support 

When a premature baby is born, it’s not uncommon for their lungs to be compromised. In the cases where a respirator isn’t as helpful as the doctor would have hope, a tracheostomy is considered in order to encourage airflow efficiently. Because this isn’t an ideal situation, it’s reserved for the most extreme cases. The same is true for issues like diaphragm dysfunction and other lung diseases.


What is Tracheostomy? 

A tracheostomy is an actual hole that’s surgically cut in order to hold a tracheostomy tube. The hole is located right at the front portion of the neck. It also goes into the windpipe. The windpipe is also referred to as the trachea. The trachea is where the ‘tracheostomy’ name is derived from. Though a tracheostomy might sound like the procedure itself, the tracheostomy is simply the name of the hole that surgeons cut.


If a person is in a position where they need to get a tracheostomy, they need to plan to be at the hospital for a few days. The procedure requires the need for the body to start healing before a patient leaves. It’s best to pack a bag that will last a few days. Unless the physician recommends an alternative process, plan to stay in the hospital for more than an overnight stay.

Benefits of Tracheostomy Care at Home: 


Get to Stay Home with Family and Loved Ones

Hospitals can be really hectic and uncomfortable. Even the hospital suites with the kindest staff and healthcare professionals will get old when a family is ready to go home. There’s nothing like being comfortable in your own home and your own bed. When you’re able to get the same level of care from the comfort of your own home, this can be such a great feeling for the patient and the family. There’s something about being at home that allows people to breathe a little deeper and feel the most comfortable.


For some people, the thought of being at home with a tracheostomy sounds a little scary. Most new parents tend to feel a sense of panic when they’re sent home with a newborn for the first time. This is because the neonatal team can start to feel like a security blanket for the new parents. This can be a similar feeling for someone who’s going home with a tracheostomy. Thankfully, there are ways for family members and loved ones to help a patient take care of their tracheostomy. It needs to be cleaned, changed, and replaced in an efficient and quick manner. Along with home care professionals, the family members and loved ones can learn how to manage the process with ease and precision effectively.


Parents Can See Them Everyday

Hospitals maintain visiting hours in order to manage the foot traffic and to support the patients’ ability to rest and recover. While there are cut-off times for the general public, the parents and close family members tend to have 24-hour access to their loved ones. However, that access might be limited to a specific number. This means that one or two family members can be in the room at one time. While the process is understandable, it’s still inconvenient for patients who want their immediate family in the room.


When a patient opts to receive home care for their tracheostomy, the parents and other family members can easily access them because they’re all under the same roof. The process of finding a parking spot, signing in at the front desk, and taking an elevator to a long hallway is out of the picture. For family members who have enough stressors on their mind, home care can be such a great reprieve for their own mental health as well. Besides, there are times when a patient wants to call out to a family member to hold their hand. When they’re all under the same roof, they can easily do that.


Insurance through Work Pays for It

When many people think about home health care benefits, they assume that it’s an expensive process that has to come out of their own pockets. This is an unfortunate assumption because many people have insurance policies that involve coverage of a home health nurse or caregiver. This can ease the burden for many families who try to take care of a sick loved one as they manage the other responsibilities of life.


Before you make the assumption that a home health aid is too expensive, look at your insurance policy to see what’s covered. Read the fine print to learn more about conditions that are covered in full. When a patient deals with a tracheostomy, they can’t be left to their own devices. Many home health companies provide efficient financial solutions that will work with a patient’s insurance coverage. Many home health care companies offer in-home assessments to give accurate quotes to insurance companies. When you’re considering a specific company, it’s wise to find out their policies regarding long-term contracts and more. With proper research and documentation, your work insurance can cover more care than you might realize.


Quality Care Because of One-on-One Care

When a patient is suffering in the hospital, healthcare professionals have to prioritize their schedules. If a more pressing issue requires the nurses to tend to another patient, the other patients get bumped down the totem pole of priorities. While it’s understandable because doctors and nurses are trying to keep everyone alive, it can be unfortunate for the patient who’s in a lot of pain and needs more medicine. Thankfully, that’s not an issue with home health care. When a patient needs something, they can quickly contact the home health aide and receive immediate attention. In order to receive the highest quality of care, it’s best to get a one-on-one option. A home health aide’s attention is undivided when they’re entirely focused on one patient, the quality of care increases.


It’s a lot easier to discover progress and keep track of charts. The right home care professional can even see what changes need to be made in order to facilitate a faster healing process. In hospitals, most nurses and doctors are trying to keep the patient healthy, comfortable, and safe. When it comes to the level of quality care, it’s much better to have an aid whose attention is solely focused on the total healing of the patient.


Pediatric Tracheostomy Care


Kids on Tracheostomy Tubes and Ventilators that Need Private Duty Nursing Care at Home

When a child is in a position where they need a tracheostomy tube and a ventilator to breathe, they need more than parental supervision. While it’s amazing that the hospital will approve their request to be sent home, professional medical attention is still required. Most parents aren’t equipped with the tools to avoid the paralysis of the diaphragm or other conditions that are associated with a tracheostomy tube. Thankfully, pediatric home nurses can take care of a child in their home. They can train and assist parents in the process of taking care of their child in such a fragile state. If the tracheostomy isn’t handled correctly, it can lead to other breathing issues as the child develops into adulthood. To practice the highest level of precaution and care, a private duty nurse is a wise investment for a child’s quality of life.


How Centric Healthcare Can Help

Centric Healthcare is an excellent home health agency that provides wide-ranging services for individuals in the Rochester, Minneapolis, and St. Paul areas. If you have a child who is facing issues with a tracheostomy, and you’d like to bring them home, Centric Healthcare offers pediatric home health nurse care services. They provide services that include maintaining open airways, oxygen therapy, and tracheostomy machine care. They’re committed to providing 24-hour care as needed. They also ensure the highest quality of equipment, hygiene, and safety measures for a child’s well-being. In addition to providing caregivers with extensive resumes and training, they provide short-term contracts and negotiate the right treatment plan for your child. For more information, feel free to visit their website.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments