The term “decannulation” refers to the removal of the tracheostomy tube from the neck and the stoma is allowed to close up and heal. This is usually a ‘planned’ procedure and done by a health care professional only when a patient can breathe unobstructed using their upper airway.
Emergency Decannulation is just what it implies; an emergency! A decannulation in this situation can happen for various reasons. Coughing too forcefully, a tumor encroachment, trach tie is too loose or comes undone or, in the case of children, rough play can pull a trach tube out of the neck.
If your trach tube becomes dislodged for any reason, do not hesitate to go to the hospital as this is truly an emergency situation. The longer you wait to have it addressed, the more you are in danger of not being able to breathe. Remember, this is your unobstructed way of breathing and keeping you alive.
Author Profile: Laura Castricone, Respiratory Therapist
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