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Cleaning and Caring for Tracheostomy Equipment

Cleaning suction catheters at home

Suction catheters must be cleaned after each session of suctioning. This helps prevent infection as well as helps cut down costs by reusing the same catheter for one week.

After suctioning the trach tube:

  1. Pour a few ounces of hydrogen peroxide into a small clean container.
  2. Suction hydrogen peroxide through the catheter until it is free of mucus. Wipe the outside of the catheter with a cloth or gauze wet with peroxide.
  3. Suction sterile salt water through the catheter until it is free of peroxide.
  4. Suction air until the catheter is free of water.
  5. Remove the catheter from the connecting tubing and let it air dry.
  6. Wrap it in a clean dry towel.
  7. Use it as needed with this cleaning process each time for up to 8 hours, then THROW IT AWAY.
  8. Follow manufacturer's instruction for cleaning and disinfecting your suction machine and humidifier. Do not allow water to stand in your humidifier when not in use.

Cleaning the tracheostomy inner cannula tube (for reusable inner cannulas only)

The tracheostomy inner cannula tube should be cleaned two to three times per day or more as needed. Please note that this only applies to reusable inner cannulas.Cleaning is needed more immediately after surgery and when there is a lot of mucus buildup.

Equipment

Trach care kit

or

  • Small brush or pipe cleaners
  • Half-strength solution of hydrogen peroxide (1/2 water, 1/2 hydrogen peroxide)
  • Saline or homemade sterile salt water
  • Two small bowls

Procedure

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Place 1/2 strength peroxide solution in one bowl and sterile salt water in second bowl.
  3. Remove the inner cannula while holding the neck plate of the trach still.
  4. Place inner cannula in peroxide solution and soak until crusts are softened or removed.
  5. Use the brush or pipe cleaner to clean the inside, outside and creases of the tube.
  6. Do not use scouring powder or Brillo pads.
  7. Look inside the inner cannula to make sure it is clean and clear of mucus.
  8. Rinse tube in saline or sterile salt water.
  9. Re-insert it while holding the neck plate of the trach still.
  10. Turn the inner cannula until it locks into position.
  11. Double check the locking pulling forward gently on the inner cannula.

Tracheostomy Questions? E-mail tracheostomysupport@jhmi.edu

 
 

Tip of the Month

Breathe easy! Suctioning is very
important to keep your airway open.


   

 

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