Changing the tracheostomy tube
The function of the tracheostoma is to protect the airway for the patient. However, this clear advantage also entails certain disadvantages or risks (see complications). In general, it must be taken into account that the shortening of the airway will also bring about a faster penetration of pathogenic (disease-causing) organisms. Therefore, correct handling of the associated medical aids is absolutely necessary to minimise potential infection risks. In addition to the cleaning and possibly disinfection recommendations given by the manufacturer, this also includes adherence to the maximum service life of the tracheostomy tube or other aids, e.g. HMEs. However, other indications for which the physician is responsible may also make it necessary to change the tracheostomy tube, irrespective of how long it has been used.
The basis of the assessment is always the current legal situation on the issue of "medical delegation". According to the SGB V (Social Code), changing tracheostomy tubes is definitely not one of the tasks of the medical device consultant of the aid supplier.
Changing the cannula is generally a stressful procedure for the patient, which not only means stress for the patient, but can also end in an emergency situation. Accordingly, diligence and a planned professional approach are an absolute must.
Tracheostomy tube replacement for healthcare professionals