Our journey with trach patients began back in 2010. Since our beginning, the ACP family has always been present in the lives of several patients, who use trachs to improve their respiratory capacities and their quality of life.
This week originates from a mom that wanted to show the world that her little girl was just like everyone else but with a few added accessories. Her initiative gave life to this annual event that is known as a viral campaign to spread awareness of trach patients, their families, and caregivers.
WHAT IS A TRACH TUBE?
A tracheotomy is a surgical procedure in which a cut, opening , or incision is made in the windpipe, accessing the trachea. A surgeon inserts a tube into the opening to bypass an obstruction or structural defect, allowing air to get to the lungs or remove secretions. Some conditions that may require a trach can include neuromuscular diseases, malformations of the airway or face, vocal cord paralysis, aspiration or disorders of respiratory control.
A tracheotomy may be performed for several reasons, such as when adequate air is not getting to the lungs, if the person cannot breathe without mechanical assistance, or if there are problems with mucus and other secretions getting into the windpipe due to any condition that causes difficulty swallowing. Some children, young people, and adults may need a trach temporarily, while others may need one for a lifetime. They may need additional support with the trach, such as oxygen or ventilator support, to assist their breathing.
WHAT ABOUT TRACHEOSTOMY CARE AT HOME?
Trach maintenance in the home will differ from patient to patient based on the age and medical needs of the individual.
- Acute care patients need to be assessed every two hours for the need for suctioning and/or airway clearance. Suctioning is routinely done twice a day but can be needed more often on sick days, when a patient has an infection, or the patient needs cough clearance assistance.
- An individual should be attended to at all times by an adult caregiver who has been trained in suctioning, trach care, trach tie change, and changing the trach tube.
- All caregivers need to practice good hand washing before and after caring for an individual, this will reduce an individual’s risk for infection.
- The trach tube does not always affect the way an individual will eat food. Some indviduals who have trach tubes also have difficulty with swallowing and gastric reflux, so he/ she is at risk to aspirate (inhale) food into the airway and should follow the dietary restrictions put in place by the physician.
- There are only a few activities that your child cannot participate in, such as swimming. It is always important that these individuals be able to engage in all activities as tolerated, keeping in mind that water or foreign particles (i.e. dust, sand, etc.) could go directly into the trach tube and ultimately into the lungs.
Home care nurses are invaluable to the patients who depend on them to stay safe and healthy. Often, these caregivers provide support and peace of mind to the care givers of these amazing individuals.
Now that you know a little more about tracheotomy, trach tubes, and basic care to be followed with trach depends, we thought it would be essential to hear the testimony of someone who really needs to be heard, and who knows more than anyone what is to live with this special condition.
Please allow us to introduce one of the most beloved and dearest young women in the ACP Family:
“Hi, my name is Lissandra Menendez! I’m 22 years old, and this week is Trach Awareness Week and I’m here to tell you about my journey.
I have had a trach since I was 3 years old. Ever since I was little I just remember having a tracheotomy, but it never crossed my mind it would have such a big impact on my life.
As I got older, it was challenging for me to deal with certain things, like I’m very self- conscious about going out in public. For example, suctioning and changing my trach would cause me to be embarrassed. I’m so very blessed to be raised in a household that my trach and disability was never a issue.
I thank God for giving me a voice that I can use on a daily basis because I know there’s so many people who can’t communicate for themselves.
Everybody who has a trach: please don’t ever give up because you are the true heroes in this world! Maybe you might feel in a certain way, but don’t ever put your self down because you have a trach. You can do anything in this world if you set your mind to it!
Parents who have a child who is a trach dependent: Don’t ever be scared to take your child anywhere! Just always make sure you have everything you need, and go have FUN! Go do things that your child loves to do!
Here’s some FUN FACTS ABOUT MYSELF
- MY FAVORITE FOOD IS PIZZA
- MY FAVORITE FOOTBALL TEAM IS PHILADELPHIA,
EAGLES FLY EAGLES FLY!
- MY FAVORITE EMOJI IS ????
- MY FAVORITE MOVIE IS “ME BEFORE YOU”
- MY FAVORITE PERSON AT ACP IS ANGEL, HE IS MAKING SURE I HAVE COVERAGE AND HE’S SUPER SWEET
”Every time you meet someone, always try to do something that they will remember you by because you will never know what they are facing and just be there when they need you because may never know when you’ll see them again.
The ACP Family believes that is our duty, not only as a dedicated healthcare provider, to enthusiastically advocate for the best quality of life for our kiddos.
Members of the medically fragile community not only have to cope with the complications of their conditions, but also deal with the obstacle of communities not comprehending the individuals’ needs, such as how to socially approach them or prevent infections.
We want to do out part in helping to unravel knowledge and help all those who are seeking for help, support, and information. That’s why awareness campaigns like Global Trach Awarareness Week are fundamental in combating stigmas and misconceptions.
Ultimately, individuals inside and outside of the medically fragile community are just people who want to be loved, respected, and recognized as the same as you and me. to explain that although people have clinically fragile conditions, the main thing is that we are all the same.