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Journal Article (Refereed)
June 2006

A systematic approach to weaning and decannulation of tracheostomy tubes

Braine, M & Sweby,C. 2006, 'A systematic approach to weaning and decannulation of tracheostomy tubes', British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, Vol 2, Issue 3, pp.124-132 .


The need for a tracheostomy is a common occurrence in the specialist field of the adult neurosciences. The process of weaning and decannulating patients from a tracheostomy tube is a complex process. A number of researchers highlight the lack of agreement on a definitive systematic approach to weaning from tracheostomy, or to the process of decannulation, although a number of criteria are reported in the literature. The literature on respiratory care offers many papers on weaning from mechanical ventilation, but the literature on weaning from a tracheostomy is less prevalent. This paper explains why problem solving is important and how a systematic approach to weaning from a tracheostomy tube can be designed to address the variety of problems that may arise in individual patients. Guidance is offered on the nursing care of these patients, and of the role of the nurse within the multidisciplinary team involved in the day-to-day management of patients as they progress through the weaning process. While it is recognized that this process must address individual patients' needs, this paper offers an approach that is based on the best available evidence and meets the needs of the neuroscience patient in general. It is directed, in particular, toward clinical staff who may not have access to a specialist tracheostomy team, but who are expected to participate in tracheostomy weaning of neuroscience patients alongside other members of the multidisciplinary team.




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Publication Details

Journal Name
British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing

Vol 2, Issue 3

124-132 .