What is tracheostomy? A tracheostomy is a procedure to create an artificial opening made in the trachea (windpipe) that is held open by a tracheostomy tube. Air goes through this opening instead of the nose or mouth and helps your child to breathe more easily. This opening allows direct air passage and offers the ability to clear secretions from the lower airway through suctioning.
Both speech and swallowing ability will be affected by the tracheostomy.
How can we help?
We will assess and create a personalized treatment plan that fits your child’s goals. This may include:
- Liaising with the wide range of medical team members looking after your child while in hospital and after you return home
- Supporting to manage secretions and practicing breathing in order to reduce dependence on tracheostomy in order to remove it eventually
- Managing your child’s communication development through the speaking valve (a speaking valve is necessary for patients on tracheostomy to speak) or an augmentative and alternative communication method (AAC) e.g. Makaton signing, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), a communication book or higher tech aid such as Proloque2go app on an iPad
- Helping if there are any swallowing difficulties e.g. to be able to swallow saliva, food and drinks while on a tracheostomy
Train all caregivers both at home and in school to facilitate your child’s communication and or swallowing development