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Glossary

Artificial nose (Swedish)
A cap that can be attached to the tracheostomy tube to help maintain humidity.

Air compressor
A machine used to provide air or oxygen under pressure to make breathing easier for a patient with breathing problems.

Apnea monitor
A device used to check to make sure that a patient with a breathing tube (endotracheal tube) or a tracheostomy tube hooked to a ventilator does not stop breathing. It can sound alarm to alert care provider in case of slowed or stopped breathing.

Ambu bag
A device used to manually give air or oxygen to a person under pressure.

Aerosol tubing
A piece of tubing used to deliver inhaled medicine (breathing treatment) to patients with tracheostomy or breathing tube.

Cannula
A hollow piece of tubing: inner cannula refers to the inner tubing of a standard tracheostomy tube.

Coagulopathies
Refers to diseases or conditions causing problems with clotting of blood, for example low platelet count or patients taking blood thinners like aspirin or coumadin.

Decannulation
Process of removing the tracheostomy tube and making sure the patient is breathing well without it.

Extubation
Process of removing a breathing tube (endotracheal tube) when the patient does not need it any more.

Heat moisture exchanger (HME)
A humidifying filter that fits onto the end of the trach tube and comes in several shapes and sizes. Also known by several other terms including: Thermal Humidfying Filters, Swedish nose, Artificial nose, Filter, Thermovent T.

Hypercarbia
A condition in which more than normal amounts of carbon dioxide in retained in a patient’s blood due to inadequate breathing.

Larynx
Voice box.

Nebulizer bottle
A bottle used to turn liquid (saline etc) or a liquid medication into smaller particles to be delivered to a patient’s nose, throat or lungs via the nose, mouth or a breathing tube.

Obturator
Provide a smooth surface that guides the tracheostomy tube when it is being inserted.

Passy-Muir speaking valve
One-way valve which attaches to the outside opening of the tracheostomy tube and allows air to pass into the tracheostomy, but not out through it.

Stoma
The hole made in the neck and windpipe.

Saline ampules (bullets)
Small plastic containers of salt water solution.

Secretions
Mucus.

Stopper (plug/cork)
A device used to obstruct air passage through a tracheostomy tube to allow a patient to breathe around the tube before the tracheostomy tube is removed (decannulated).

Trach ties
A piece or ribbon gauze used to secure a trach tube to the patient’s neck.

Trach mask
Mist collar which attaches over the trach to provide moisture.

Tracheostomy
An opening surgically created through the neck into the trachea to allow direct access to the breathing tube.

Tracheostomy (Trach) Tube
Curved tube that is inserted into a tracheostomy stoma.

Tracheotomy
Refers to the incision into the trachea that forms a temporary or permanent opening, which is called a 'tracheostomy,' however; the terms are sometimes used interchangeably

Trachea
Windpipe.

Ventilator
Breathing machine.

Videofluoroscopic swallowing study
A specialized test in which a patient’s swallowing is assessed with a combination of xray examination and direct visualizing of the throat by a radiologist and a speech language pathologist (SLP).

 
 

Tip of the Month

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


   

 

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