Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com with another quick tip for families in intensive care.
Today’s tip is for families who have a loved one in intensive care with a tracheostomy and all they’re waiting for is to have the tracheostomy removed after they’ve been successfully weaned off the ventilator. So if your loved one has a tracheostomy and needs to have it removed, certain things need to be in place.
Number one, your loved one needs to have a good strong cough. They need to be able to swallow, they need to have minimal secretions coming off their chest. So the team involves, when it comes to removal of the tracheostomy tube is often physiotherapy to strengthen breathing muscles, to do coughing and breathing exercises, but also speech therapy. And speech therapy is able to do the swallowing assessment and the speaking assessments, right, with a speaking valve or just by taking the tracheostomy cuff down and then train your loved one to talk. What we’re often finding is that speech therapists are not involved at all or they’re coming into the picture when it’s often too late.
So my tip for today is make sure that from day one, where if you loved one, is to be weaned off a tracheostomy tube, that speech therapy, physiotherapy are involved, as well as the ENT surgeons, the intensive care specialists, as well as the respiratory physician, and sometimes even a neurologist needs to be involved if the tracheostomy is secondary to a head injury or a brain injury. So you need a neurologist there as well.
That’s my tip for today. This is Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com and I’ll talk to you in a few days.