Tracheostomies are common procedures in head & neck surgical and critical care practice. Due to pressures on intensive care beds and the increasing drive to de-escalate care quickly, along with increasing numbers of patients benefiting from temporary tracheostomy, numbers of patients with tracheostomies are rising on general wards. These groups include those with chronic respiratory or neurological problems. Increasing numbers of patients with tracheostomies are being cared for on wards outside the critical care or traditional 'ENT' infrastructure. This has implications for the safety of patients who may be cared for on wards without the necessary competencies and experience to manage this challenging cohort and local measures need to be in place to ensure that safe routine and emergency care can be provided.
The National Tracheostomy Safety Project (NTSP) has developed a guide to provide information to those caring for patients with temporary or permanent tracheostomies either regularly or occasionally. It aims to provide basic background information and the rationale for tracheostomy care. They have also developed simple emergency guidelines for dealing with tracheostomy emergencies both in critical care and beyond. More information on these can be found on their website www.tracheostomy.org.uk.
Training courses have also been developed to provide the competencies to support the guide and the emergency guidelines. ALSG is working with NTSP to offer these courses nationally and internationally.
There are currently no updates for the Tracheostomy course.