Tracheostomy home care: In a resource-limited setting
Article in Press
Introduction: Home tracheostomy care for children in South Africa dates back to 1989. Objective: This study aimed to describe the tracheostomy home programme at Tygerberg Children's Hospital (TCH), situated in a resource-limited setting in Cape Town, South Africa. Design: Retrospective descriptive study. Setting: Tracheostomy home programme at TCH. The primary care giver is trained by nurses. Results: Fifty-six children (29 girls) were discharged to the home programme (47 to home and 9 to institutions). The median age at tracheostomy was 3 months, mainly for airway obstruction. The mean duration of home care was 26.6 months. Twenty-seven children (43%) were successfully decannulated. Seven children lived in informal housing. The 56 children generated 745 social work contacts. The overall survival was 82%. Conclusion: Children with tracheostomies can be safely cared for at home, even in a resource-constrained environment, provided training, appropriate technology and social support services are available. Copyright Article author (or their employer) 2010.