Intended for healthcare professionals


Hospital staff caring for tracheotomy patients need better training, enquiry finds

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 12 June 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3827
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

As tracheotomy has become more common, patients are increasingly cared for on general wards.

Patients who have undergone a tracheotomy are often cared for on general wards by staff who have not been trained in their needs or in how to deal with common emergencies, says a report issued by the UK National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD).

As tracheotomy has become more common in recent years, the procedure is increasingly taking place on critical care wards rather than in operating theatres, and patients are then often discharged to a general ward. However, many staff involved in the care of these patients do not have the skills required, which could compromise the care of these patients, NCEPOD found.

Furthermore hospitals do not regularly record that tracheotomies have taken place, which …

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