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J Crit Illn. 1995 Oct;10(10):729-33.

The technique of weaning from tracheostomy. Criteria for weaning; practical measures to prevent failure.

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St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona, USA.


Use the following organized approach to determine whether a patient can be weaned from tracheostomy. Consider airway decannulation only if the original upper airway obstruction has resolved, if mechanical ventilation is no longer needed, and if airway secretions are controlled. Regard the presence of a vigorous cough and the absence of aspiration as additional portents of success. Most critically ill patients benefit from a well-planned, progressive weaning protocol. The tracheostomy button is an ideal weaning device; it maintains the stoma tract and allows the patient to breathe and clear secretions through the upper airway. Monitor the patient for up to 48 hours to ensure tolerance to decannulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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