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Changing Your Trach Tube


These instructions are for educational purposes. Always follow the advice provided by your physician or licensed respiratory therapist.


The tracheostomy tube is typically changed every 1-4 weeks to prevent mucus build-up and for cleanliness. The trach tube will need to be changed if it comes out or becomes plugged. Check with the doctor for frequency of trach change. Always change the trach tube with two people present (unless this is not possible in an emergency). Change the trach tube before eating or at least 2 hours after eating.

If the trach tube comes out part of the way:

  1. Gently slide the same trach tube back in.
  2. Make sure the ties are tied securely.
  3. Suction as needed.

If the trach tube becomes plugged:

If you are having trouble breathing, or it is hard to suction secretions through the catheter, the trach tube may be plugged. Try to suction. If you can not suction the trach tube and you are still having trouble breathing, remove the trach tube and insert the clean back-up tube as you have been taught.

Important notes to observe before replacing the tube:

Always be sure to follow the instruction manual and the instructions given to you by your physician or hospital staff. Do not try to change your tracheostomy tube until you have been taught the necessary procedure. If you have any questions, please contact your doctor or your hospital.

In the event of an emergency, always have a complete tracheostomy tube kit ready (have a kit in the same size and one in the next smaller size).

Before use, carefully read through the instructions for use enclosed with every tube.

Procedure for Changing Tubes:

Changing a Cuffed Tube

Changing a Cuffless Tube