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Respir Care. 2005 Apr;50(4):538-41.

Tracheostomy decannulation.

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Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado, USA.


The respiratory therapist plays an integral role in tracheostomy tube decannulation. Removal of the tracheostomy tube should be considered only if the original upper-airway obstruction is resolved, if airway secretions are controlled, and if mechanical ventilation is no longer needed. Predictors of success include ability to produce a vigorous cough and the absence of aspiration. Tracheostomy decannulation requires caution, particularly following a prolonged period of tracheostomy use. The tracheostomy tube decannulation process is well suited for therapist-implemented protocols.

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