Average trach time?

    • Anonymous
      August 1, 2007 at 10:47 am

      I’m not looking for normal, since there is no normal anymore, but can anyone give me an idea of an average length of time on a trach?? I know everyone recovers at their own pace. My mom has been on the trach for 9 weeks now, well 1 week on the ventilator and 8 weeks with the trach. She’s breathing most of the days on her own now, but still not quite ready to come off it yet. I’m impressed they are being so cautious (breathing is one thing you pretty much can’t mess with!). She’s just so frustrated to have that thing in her, selfishly, I miss her voice so much! I call my parent’s answering machine just to hear her voice!
      I do know there’s no “correct” answer here. I’m just looking for an average to maybe share with her.
      Thanks so much!!!

    • Anonymous
      August 1, 2007 at 11:38 am

      Jenn your right there is no normal but I can tell you that being off the vent is a great huge step….the trache is frustrating but she sounds like she is doing great and they are smart to be careful and not be in a hurry. I had my trache in until it was almost time to come home. They said some people can go home with them even if they are not being used. What they try to do is make sure once you go into rehab and are moving around and exercising you don’t have a relapse with more exercise. They don’t want to have to put in another one. Once she gets breathing treatments and exercises for breathing and she gets stronger they should depending on the trache she has. They can put a valve on it so she will be able to talk. Sounds to me she is in the slow process of being weanned off. She is getting better slowly. The caregivers are the ones that need to be given a shot of patience, because this is a slow process. You are expressing your frustration on this message board and getting out the frustrations that all our caregivers go thru. You are helping them that are just coming into this process. Others will share with you how frustrating it is as a caregiver and not being able to help quicken her recovery. Hang in there and be patient we know what your family is going thru. Think how frustrating it is for her to not be able to tell someone where it itches or hurts or is numb. How to call out to someone that she needs something. Not being able to speak and have everyone read your lips is horrible. First you have to get people to look at you! Alot of people and staff in the hospital are not able to read lips. Think about her frustrations and it makes your seem very tiny! BIG HUGS….vent here anytime!

    • Anonymous
      August 1, 2007 at 12:59 pm


      I was on a vent for a few days and then on a trach for about 6 weeks.
      It is so horribly frustrating, and I think being in bed day in and day out makes one feel as if you arent making any progress.

    • Anonymous
      August 2, 2007 at 12:57 am

      I have to apologize. I don’t mean to vent so much here. I’m just looking for answers. You all have helped so much! I really don’t know what state of mind I’d be in without this website and forum. It’s just so hard to be so far away and rely on my family for information. I love them dearly, but each one has a different perspective on this whole situation. I know without a doubt that she is getting better; I know it takes an obscenely long time for recovery. I also know how my mom thinks. She’s spending this time in the hospital, frustrated and scared, but worried more about the rest of us than herself. It’s just the way she is. I need to be able to tell her the right and honest information- she trusts me to do that. She trusts me to fight for her and stand up for her.
      So my frustration certainly isn’t in her recovery, it’s really in the medical system and that there are no answers.
      But beleive me, I value everyone’s opinions and experiences.

      Thank you so much!!!!

    • Anonymous
      August 2, 2007 at 2:22 am

      maybe the trach was difficult to place, maybe they feel her oxygen lvls are not sufficient yet.
      i once took care of a man whom when he went to OR for trach placement, the doc had to kneel on the side of the stretcher to force the trach into the proper place….. sucks to have a trach, but i have also cared for children whom have had trachs since the day of thier birth…….. there are always pros and cons in the big black hole of healthcare.
      good luck to you and your loved ones.

    • Anonymous
      August 2, 2007 at 6:00 am

      i was intubated for 2 weeks which, i was told, is the time frame they like to do the trachy – to prevent damage from the tube and to begin weaning off the vent. At first i was still ventilated via the trachy but then they began to wean me off gradually – one hour off, 2 hours on etc until i was able to be off the vent for hours at a time, then 12 hours straight etc. After 2 weeks with a trachy they started talking about replacing the trachy with one with a removable inner that can be cleaned. Unfortuantely (or fortunately as i saw it at the time!) I developed an infection and they couldnt remove the trachy. I didnt really like the thought of pulling one out and putting another one in. So from what i gather, 2 weeks is the next timeframe after which they start thinking of replacing the trachy. Having said that, the trachy i had they were able to deflate the cuff so that I could start to eat and drink. while the cuff is down you are also able to talk if you cover the trachy with your finger. I’m not 100% sure, but i think they will let the cuff down once you are able to swallow properly? I ended up having the trachy for 3 weeks until the infection healed. by that time i was eating solids and talking like i had to make up for all the weeks of silence! In the end i was glad to have it out as it meant i could be transferred back to my local hospital for rehab. And i hardly even noticed them yanking it out!

      Thanks to the infection I still have a nice scar about 5cm long. The only trachy scars i have seen have been round?

    • Anonymous
      August 2, 2007 at 7:07 am

      I had my trachy for about 21/2 months. The last two weeks of that was spent weaning myself off. My Doctors were very cautious in making sure I was ready so even though it’s frustrating it’s better to be safe than sorry. Your Mum sounds like she is making great progress towards getting herself breathing on her own so it’s a really big step forward in her recovery which is great. Actually removing the trachy is simple and straightforward so there’s nothing for your Mum to be worried about if she is (just thought I’d add that in in case it was an issue). Just keep positive and you will all get there in the end. Keep 🙂

    • Anonymous
      August 3, 2007 at 9:58 am

      My mom’s very extreme – just now beginning to wean off the trach after 34 months. But she had asthma and got GBS 8 months after a very severe pneumonia. I’m so excited for you and your mom that she is already off the vent. The trache is a safety net for her now, and it’s so important to take her off it only when she’s ready. For my mom, they do pulmonary function tests and now “cap” the trache for increasingly longer periods each day – she’s up to 9 hours at a time! Capping it forces the air up through the mouth and nose, virtually requiring her to breath without the trache. Her pulmonologist says that when she can go 4 days and 4 nights without any problems they will likely pull her trache. Your mom is well on her way to not needing that thing. Keep being patient. It will happen when it’s right to happen. Good luck!

    • Anonymous
      August 3, 2007 at 10:02 am

      Another thought to consider. Can they use a Passe Muir valve with your mom? It’s a little plastic cap that is placed at the trach opening. It forces air to pass over the vocal chords so your mom can talk. If they’re weaning her, maybe her breathing is strong enough to handle the passe muir? Being able to talk will, for the most part, take away a lot of the inconvenience of having the trache in.