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Speaking Through

Taikhum Sadiq

What is a speaking valve ?

A speaking valve is a one way valve that fits over the tracheostomy tube. The valve only allows air to be breathed in via the tracheostomy. When one exhales, the valve closes and air is pushed up via the larynx (the voice box) to exit via the nose and mouth. This facilitates improvements in voice, cough, smell and taste, and secretion management.

Can my child use it?

All children aren’t able to tolerate wearing a speaking valve. If your child is referred for a speaking valve test, a nurse and speech pathologist will test whether the valve will be safe and comfortable for your child to wear. Also it is important if your child doesn’t feel any pain while using the valve. There are many other options for your child if communication is necessary.

How do I clean a valve?

Cleaning a valve is not a very difficult task. The first step is to wash it in warm and soapy water. We have to avoid touching the membrane of the valve as it is very delicate. Then we have to rinse the valve very thoroughly with tap water. Next, leave the valve to air-dry on a clean surface overnight. And voila we have a clean valve!

What are my options?

We have a number of options in this range:

  • The Passy-Muir Tracheostomy and Ventilator Swallowing and Speaking Valve are specifically designed to eliminate the necessity of finger occlusion for the patient with a tracheostomy tube while allowing the patient uninterrupted speech. When put on the hub of the tracheostomy tube or in line with the ventilator circuit, this valve redirects airflow through the vocal folds, mouth and nose enabling voice and improved communication.
  • The Airway Company Shikani Speaking Valve is designed to help tracheostomy patients to communicate clearly while minimizing the effort required to breathe. It gives complete control over how airflow is directed into the upper airway. Valve allows patients to achieve a more normalized airway system with reduced infections, managed secretions, reduced aspiration, and improved swallowing and olfaction.
  • The Boston Humidophone Plus Speaking Valve with HME Filters purifies the air during inspiration. It enables tracheostomized patients with an intact larynx to speak. The housing contains open-pored polyurethane foam with hygroscopic characteristics creating an additional humidification effect. The filter is located in front of the speaking valve flap, on the patient side. It is designed for the adaptation to 15mm connectors or 22mm connector rings. It is intended for single use only.


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HPFY Taikhum Sadiq

Taikhum Sadiq

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Taikhum Sadiq has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2016.

He is an archaeology student and is passionate about learning about the past and how it impacts our future. He believes ...

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