What if I have problems with my tracheostomy tube or have trouble breathing?
Call your doctor if you have
Trouble breathing or have noisy breathing (congestion)
Dry, crusted secretions (mucus plugs) or blood-colored secretions from your tracheostomy tube
More secretions than normal from your tracheostomy tube
Thick, bad-smelling, yellow or green secretions
Trouble putting your tracheostomy tube in because your stoma size has gotten smaller
A temperature of 101 F (38.3 C) or higher
Redness or skin breakdown around your tracheostomy stoma
Bleeding around your tracheostomy site
Trouble swallowing or eating
The surgery site (incision) is coming apart, has more drainage than normal, or has swelling
How can I be ready for an emergency?
Talking on the phone may be hard. Post emergency and other important phone numbers, your name, and your address near your phone.
Know emergency phone numbers wherever you are.
Wear a medical alert bracelet and/or necklace.
Get these from a pharmacy. They let people know that you breathe through a tracheostomy tube. The tracheostomy tube should be used as your airway if you need oxygen or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Keep a bag with emergency tracheostomy supplies with you at all times.
Emergency tracheostomy bag supplies
Put these items in a to-go bag to have ready at all times
Extra tracheostomy tube the same size you are using, with ties on and obturator in place
Water-soluble lubricating jelly and normal saline
Emergency phone list that is given to you by your health care team