Washing hands before and after patient care (Soap and water or hand sanitizer)
Protecting the caregiver
Managing the ventilator circuit
Monitoring the patient
Maintain the trach tube and inner cannula
Minimize the risk. Protect the caregiver.
For the caregiver, exposure to organisms in circuit condensate poses infection risk. Take precautions to avoid infection during any circuit change.
Wash hands before and after manipulating the ventilator circuit, and wear gloves and a mask (when applicable).
To avoid getting sprayed by respiratory secretions, disconnect the circuit at a point that positions the tubing away from both the patient and caregiver.
Drain the tubing into a secure container.
Consider drained condensate (water) as contaminated and treat it as biohazard waste.
Also, properly dispose of used equipment, supplies, fluids, and biological specimens to avoid transmitting germs by air or contact.
Before leaving the patient, check that all ventilator connections are re-established, and ventilator controls alarm settings, and alarm volume are set properly.
Minimize the risk. Manage the vent circuit.
Exposure to air is not the cause of the lung infections that ventilated patients get.
Here are the most important practices for preventing pneumonia in patients who are ventilated:
Practice good hand hygiene with soap and water or an alcohol-based rub before touching the patient or the ventilator.
Maintain the patient’s oral hygiene to help prevent bacterial colonization (getting stuck inside) of the tracheostomy tube.
Unless there are contraindications, elevate the patient's head about 30-45 degrees to help prevent aspiration of mouth secretions into the lungs.
Doctors or ventilator suppliers may also recommend changing the ventilator circuits at different frequencies. The frequency depends on the circuit manufacturer’s instructions and can range from 48 hours to several days to a month.
Check with your doctor or supplier for a recommendation.
Minimize the risk. Monitor the patient.
Ventilator circuit changes
When making any ventilator circuit changes, watch for possible complications related to changing the circuit, including: