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Respir Care. 2013 Feb;58(2):257-63. doi: 10.4187/respcare.01714.

Tracheostomy tube change before day 7 is associated with earlier use of speaking valve and earlier oral intake.

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  • 1Department of Respiratory Care, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Presence of a tracheostomy tube often decreases the patient's ability to communicate and to tolerate oral intake. The initial tracheostomy tube change is often recommended between day 7 and 14 post insertion. Local guidelines permit tracheostomy tube change 5 days after insertion.

OBJECTIVE:

We hypothesized that changing tracheostomy tubes before day 7 is associated with earlier use of a speaking valve as well as earlier oral intake, compared to changing tracheostomy tubes after 7 days.

METHODS:

We prospectively enrolled 130 admitted subjects, after tracheostomy placement to a respiratory care unit between July 2008 and May 2010. Subject data were recorded from the electronic medical record. The primary end point was the time from tracheostomy tube placement to tolerating speaking valve. The secondary end point was the time from tracheostomy tube placement to tolerating oral intake. Complications of tracheostomy tube change were recorded.

RESULTS:

Thirty-eight subjects had the first tracheostomy tube change before 7 days (early group), and 92 subjects had the first tracheostomy tube change after 7 days (late group). The early group tolerated a speaking valve significantly sooner than the late group (7 d vs 12 d, P = .001). The early group also tolerated oral intake significantly sooner (10 d vs 20 d, P = .04). After change of the tracheostomy tube, the time to tolerating oral feeding was 5.5 days in both groups. There was no significant difference in time to decannulation between the groups. The early group had a shorter respiratory care unit stay (11 d vs 17 d, P = .001) and a shorter hospital stay (P = .05) than the late group. There was no difference in survival. There were no complications associated with tracheostomy tube change.

CONCLUSIONS:

Tracheostomy tube change before day 7 is associated with earlier ability to tolerate speaking valve and oral intake. In this series, early tracheostomy tube change was not associated with an increased rate of complications.

© 2013 Daedalus Enterprises.

PMID:
22782273
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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