Tracheostomy and Ventilator Practices



I am Philip. I needed answers to the issues and peculiar problems of living a normal life at home with a tracheostomy tube in my throat. The medical community focuses on trach maintenance procedures most appropriate to hospital and clinical settings, and these do not always transfer well to the home environment. I turned to the Internet to locate experienced trach users and, with their patience, learn from them. Besides my inquiries of the medical profession and personal acquaintances, I am posing a series of questions to two groups of people, those that have trachs, and those that use ventilators with trachs. These pages result largely, but not exclusively, from the selected responses of members of the group forums: NeckBreathers and Vent Users. To them go my appreciation, and my thanks.

I find that long term trach use is still a rare thing in the medical profession, and there have been relatively few resources spent gathering an authoritative body of knowledge about this subject. The people who have experience in home trach use are geographically distributed and often seriously isolated, leaving people who need the knowledge of that experience in a predicament. This situation will change when the number of home trach folks reaches a critical number, but until then the Internet is our friend. We can use it to build bridges to each other. People helping people is a traditional remedy for desperate situations.

I got the idea to do the web site when I looked at the text files I had been cutting and pasting together on different trach topics that I was collecting and realized this is useful information on this very rare subject. I have rudimentary HTML skills and a web site, I thought I would move the topic list to the web for others to use.

The design is a simple topic list in a peer to peer format: as in so-in-so is an issue, how have others adapted to this problem? Answer. Answer.

I chose this format because it's simplicity appealed to me ascetically, and that it would be efficient to create, use, and maintain (which my current energy level appreciates).

The second ascetic point is that with people using their own words to describe their answers to the questions posed, it gives a sense of the community of the people involved - a demography, if you will. Or something like that. What ever. Anyway, I like it.

I foresee the web site to be useful in two ways.

(1) An easy read for people seeking an overview of trach and vent practice as practiced by the people practicing it.

(2) A resource for people seeking ideas on a trach or trach-vent topic.

I would also like for the people who contribute to the web site to sense they are a partner of the project, integral and essential, by including acknowledgement of them with their excerpt, and get this done without exposing them to spammer rascals.

Topics are chosen because they are inherent with trach use. The first list of topics are the questions I, as a new trach owner, have submitted to trach listservs. The answers I received were immediately useful to me. Sooner or later, any topic of interest to trach users can eventually make the list.

Please visit the web site from time to time and if you have a problem that is a little sticky, bring it up in NeckBreathers or Vent-Users forums, or drop me an e-mail. We'll work it out.

Copyright © 2005 by Philip Childress
Site Initiated October 24, 2005
Updated November 8, 2005