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

What Is a Tracheostomy

“Tracheostomy” (also known as tracheotomy in some areas) can mean two things

Breathing tubes in the mouth can only be used for a short while. Tracheostomies allow patients to be connected to a breathing machine for longer periods of time. For some patients this can mean a few extra days or weeks and for others it can mean needing life support for months or for the rest of their life.

A tracheostomy decision can represent a fork in the road. For many people, tracheostomy decisions require weighing two sets of values. Being kept alive for as long as possible even it means being attached to machines OR potentially a shorter life with a focus on quality and comfort.

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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).