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Tracheostomy Care and Complications in the Intensive Care Unit

Author(s): Linda L. Morris, PhD, APN, CCNS; Andrea Whitmer, RN, BSN, CCRN; Erik Mcintosh, RN, BSN, CCRN

Contact Hours 1.00

CERP A 1.00

Expires Oct 01, 2017

Topics: Pulmonary, SkinWound

Population: Adult

Role: Staff

Member: Free
NonMember: $10.00

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Activity Summary

Tracheotomy is a common procedure in intensive care units, and nurses must provide proper care to tracheostomy patients to prevent complications. One of the most important considerations is effective mobilization of secretions, which is achieved by adequate hydration, vigorous physical activity, and removal of secretions. A suction catheter is the most important tool. Each bedside should be equipped with a functional suctioning system, an oxygen source, a manual resuscitation bag, and a complete tracheostomy kit, which should accompany patients wherever they go in the hospital.


  • Identify evidence-based recommendations for care, indications for placement, and general types of tracheostomies
  • Describe postoperative care of patients with a new tracheostomy
  • Describe the assessment and emergency interventions for patients with tracheostomy

Continuing Education Disclosure Statement

Successful Completion

Learners must attend/view/read the entire activity and complete the associated evaluation to be awarded the contact hours or CERP. No partial credit will be awarded.


This activity has been reviewed by the Nurse Planner. It has been determined that the material presented here shows no bias. Approval of a continuing education activity does not imply endorsement by AACN or ANCC of any commercial products displayed or discussed in conjunction with the activity.


The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is accredited with distinction as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC's) Commission on Accreditation, ANCC Provider Number 0012 (60 min contact hour). AACN has been approved as a provider of continuing education in nursing by the California State Board of Nursing, California Provider number CEP01036 contact hours (50 min contact hour).

AACN programming meets the standards for most states that require mandatory continuing education contact hours for license and/or certification renewal. AACN recommends consulting with your state board of nursing or credentialing organization before submitting CE to fulfill continuing education requirements.