WARNING: The information in this section is meant as a general guide for parents and caregivers with certain problems related to children with tracheostomy using a simple non-fenestrated, cuffless tracheal cannula. It is not intended to replace the recommendations of your child’s health care team.
Discuss your child’s unique needs with the healthcare team, including WHO and WHEN to contact when problems arise.
One or more of these symptoms: coughing more frequently, yellow, green, pink or blood tinged secretions, secretions are thicker, secretions are more abundant than usual, secretions have a bad odor, labored breathing, breathing more quickly, chest pain, fever (≥ 38⁰C rectal or ≥ 37.5⁰C oral or ≥ 37.5⁰C underarm), irritability, loss of energy, loss of appetite/refusal to eat
One or more of these respiratory distress symptoms: labored breathing, more comfortable in a sitting position or with head elevated than in a lying down position, rapid, noisy or wheezy breathing, shallow breathing, secretions are more abundant than usual, weak cough, indrawing (retraction of the skin over, under and in between the ribs), use of accessory muscles to help with breathing, nasal flaring (enlargement of the nostrils during breathing), extension of the neck backwards to try to breathe in air, continuously crying, agitation, anxiety, irritability, scared look on your child’s face, marked sweating, pale skin, blue color of lips and nail beds
Resistance or impossibility of tracheal cannula reinsertion
Tracheal cannula falls out, partially or completely, accidental decannulation: cuffless tracheal cannula partially or completely out
Bleeding from inside the tracheostomy or around the tracheostomy
Introduction of water into the tracheostomy
One or more of these symptoms: coughs and /or choking during meals, saliva more abundant than usual, secretions are more abundant after meals, secretions resemble the liquids or food that was recently ingested, traces of food are found during suctioning of tracheal secretions, vomiting right after a meal
Skin around the tracheostomy site irritated (redness, edema, itchiness, burns, bad odor, oozing, presence of red pimples, small sores or bleeding and/or tracheostomy dressing is wet and soiled)
Skin around the neck irritated (redness, edema, itchiness, burns, bad odor, oozing, presence of red pimples, small sores or bleeding)
Do not hesitate to contact your child’s health care team for any questions or for specific advice related to your child’s condition.