Glossary Entry: Tracheostomy Tube


Definition: A tracheostomy tube is a medical device that is used to establish and maintain a patent airway in patients who require long-term mechanical ventilation, have upper airway obstruction, or have difficulty clearing secretions from the upper airway.

Detailed Description

Types and Variations

Variations: Tracheostomy tubes come in various sizes and designs, including cuffed and uncuffed tubes, fenestrated tubes for speech and swallowing, and tubes with inner cannulas for easier cleaning and maintenance.


Common Uses: Tracheostomy tubes are commonly used in patients with severe respiratory conditions, spinal cord injuries, neuromuscular disorders, or head and neck trauma that compromise their airway function.

Insertion and Placement

Procedure: The tracheostomy tube is inserted through a surgical incision in the patient’s neck into the trachea, and its placement is secured using ties or straps. Careful attention must be paid to the correct positioning of the tube to prevent complications.

Clinical Considerations

Potential Complications

Risks: Potential complications associated with tracheostomy tubes include infection, bleeding, tracheal stenosis, and accidental decannulation.

Care and Maintenance

Maintenance Requirements: Regular cleaning and suctioning of the tracheostomy tube are essential to prevent blockages and minimize the risk of infection. Proper humidification and monitoring of cuff pressure are also important considerations.

Additional Information

Related Devices

Associated Terms: Tracheostomy care kits, tracheostomy tube holders, and speaking valves are commonly used in conjunction with tracheostomy tubes.

Innovations and Advancements

Recent Developments: Recent advancements in tracheostomy tube design include the development of silicone-based tubes, which offer improved flexibility and comfort for the patient.

Regulatory and Safety Notes

Regulations: Tracheostomy tube usage is subject to specific regulations and guidelines to ensure patient safety and proper clinical practices.