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Living With a Tracheostomy

You may still need a tracheostomy after you leave the hospital. If so, hospital staff will show you and your family or caregiver how to care for the tracheostomy at home.

Proper care and handling of the tracheostomy and the tubes and other related supplies can help reduce the risk of complications, such as infection.

You'll learn how to clean the tracheostomy site, change your trach tube, suction your airways using the trach tube, and work with a home care service.

Home care services allow people who have special needs to stay in their homes. Home care services may provide medical equipment, visits from health care professionals, and help giving medicines. This service also may help with routine care of your tracheostomy.

Before you leave the hospital, you'll also learn about signs and symptoms of possible complications. Your doctor will let you know when you should call him or her and when to seek emergency care.

After you leave the hospital, you'll need ongoing care with your doctor. This will allow your doctor to monitor your health and check for possible problems.

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March 19, 2012 Last Updated Icon

The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.