Designed and created by Guideline Central in participation with the American Association for Respiratory Care
Management Of Pediatric Patients With Tracheostomy In The Acute Care Setting
Patient Guideline Summary
Publication Date: January 1, 2021
Last Updated: March 2, 2023
This patient summary means to discuss key recommendations from the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) for the management of pediatric patients with tracheostomy in the acute care setting. It is limited to adults 18 years of age and older and should not be used as a reference for children.
- A tracheostomy is a surgically placed tube through the neck into the lungs. It is used to manage the airway in critically ill patients.
- This patient summary focuses on the management of tracheostomy in children.
The AARC recommends:
- using a tracheal cuff only for positive pressure ventilation or preventing aspiration.
- following cuff manufacturer guidelines.
- following a standardized protocol.
- changing a tracheostomy tube at postoperative day 3, as needed to relieve obstruction, and with some regularity at a minimum of 1–2 weeks in patients without an increased risk of complications.
- regular tracheostomy tube hygiene according to manufacturer’s recommendations to prevent mucus plugging, airway obstruction, and infection.
- moisture-wicking material, changed daily, placed under the tracheostomy tube to keep the skin dry.
- regular cleansing of the skin of the neck.
- coordinating care to reduce hospital and ICU stay.
- AARC: American Association For Respiratory Care
Volsko TA, Parker SW, Deakins K, Walsh BK, Fedor KL, Valika T, Ginier E, Strickland SL. AARC Clinical Practice Guideline: Management of Pediatric Patients With Tracheostomy in the Acute Care Setting. Respir Care. 2021 Jan;66(1):144-155. doi: 10.4187/respcare.08137. PMID: 33380501.
The information in this patient summary should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.