TRACH-Support: A Conversation Tool for Tracheostomy and Prolonged Mechanical Ventilation


A Conversation Tool for Tracheostomy and
Prolonged Mechanical Ventilation

This conversation tool is meant to help you decide whether your loved one would want to be connected to a breathing machine (ventilator) potentially for a long time. This decision has come up because your loved one is too sick to breathe on their own.

A TRACHEOSTOMY is a surgery that allows patients to be connected to the breathing machine for a longer time than a breathing tube in the mouth. The decision about a tracheostomy is also a decision about possible long-term life support with machines.

This decision can be hard because it involves some trade-offs. Some people with a tracheostomy may recover but it usually takes a long time. Other people may need a life-support machine forever. Patients who do not choose a tracheostomy may die sooner.

Disclaimer: This conversation tool is a guide only. It will not tell you what the best decision is. This conversation tool is not meant for children or adult patients who might need a tracheostomy for blockages in the airway, trauma to the neck, neuromuscular disease, or severe sleep apnea.

Developed with support from Denver Health and Hospital Authority, University of Colorado School of Medicine, National Jewish Health, and the National Institutions of Health (K23HL141704)

University of Colorado, School of Medicine | Legal Notices | Privacy Policy

The Patient decision aids on this website are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.The material provided on this website is for informational purposes only and is not provided as medical advice. Nothing contained in these pages is intended to be for medical diagnosis or treatment. Any individual should consult with his or her own physician before starting any new treatment or with any question you may have regarding a medical condition. No personal health information will be collected from users. Contact information is only collected if the user requests additional information regarding one of the tools. Last Updated 10/31/2019

Funding by the National Institutes on Aging (1K23AG040696) and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PI000116-01).