1. What sizes of the Blom Tracheostomy Tubes are available?
Blom Tracheostomy tubes are available in sizes 4, 6, 8, and 10, and are available in 3 styles: cuffed fenestrated, uncuffed fenestrated, and uncuffed non-fenestrated.
2. Is the Blom a specialty tracheostomy tube?
No. The Blom Tracheostomy outer cannula is an “artificial airway” which provides access to the windpipe. The Blom tubes may be used with individuals weighing more than 66 lbs/30 kgs who do not require an extra-long trach tube. The Blom System offers several different inner cannula options in order to meet the various needs of patients. The Medical Team will help determine which inner cannulas should be utilized on a case by case scenario.
3. Can the Blom Cannulas and LPV™ (Low Profile Valve) be used with other tracheostomy tubes?
The Blom Standard, Fenestrated, Speech, and Subglottic Suctioning Cannulas and LPV are not compatible with other brands of tracheostomy tubes due to the unique “telephone jack” style clips used to safely and securely fasten these components to the outer cannula.
4. When should the Subglottic Suction Cannula be used?
The Subglottic Suction Cannula removes secretions that have pooled on top of an inflated cuff (“balloon”). This can reduce the amount of saliva and mucous that reaches the lungs, which can help to decrease the risk of infection. Therefore, it is recommended that ALL individuals who have an inflated cuff utilize the Subglottic Suction Cannula. The Cannula can be used continuously, or intermittently depending upon the thickness and quantity of secretions.
5. What should I do if the Subglottic Suction Cannula becomes clogged with secretions?
If the Subglottic Suctioning Cannula becomes occluded, or blocked:
Remove the cannula.
Flush it with sterile water or saline solution.
If the mucous cannot be cleared, discard the cannula and replace it with a new Subglottic Suctioning Cannula.
6. How do you distinguish the Speech Cannula from the LPV?
The Speech Cannula is a full length cannula with a pink connector to hook up to a ventilator circuit.
The speech Cannula is designed to be used only with the Blom Fenestrated Cuffed Tracheostomy Tube.
The patient must be ventilator dependent.
The LPV is a “short” cannula with a Flap Valve at the end.
The LPV can be used with the Blom Fenestrated Cuffed, Fenestrated Uncuffed or the Non-Fenestrated Uncuffed Tracheostomy Tubes.
The LPV is used for non-vented, spontaneously breathing patients only.
Patients using the LPV should always have a spare Standard or Subglottic Suction Cannula with them at all times in case ventilation is needed.
7. How many days can the Speech Cannula and LPV be used?
They are re-usable for up to 60 days.
8. Can the LPV and Speech Cannula be left in place during breathing treatments?
9. How should the Speech Cannula and LPV be cleaned?
Daily intermittent use;
During daily intermittent use, the Speech Cannula and LPV should be rinsed with warm water or saline solution immediately after removal from the Tracheostomy Tube and allowed to thoroughly air dry before using again. **Do not apply heat to dry.
For overnight or prolonged storage;
When removing for overnight or prolonged (more than 8 hours) storage, swish the Speech Cannula or LPV in pure ,fragrance-free soap and warm (not hot) water
Rinse the Speech Cannula or LPV thoroughly in warm running water
Allow to air dry thoroughly before placing in the storage container. **Do not apply heat to dry.
DO NOT USE HOT WATER, PEROXIDE, BLEACH, VINEGAR, ALCOHOL, BRUSHES OR COTTON SWAPS TO CLEAN THE SPEECH CANNULA OR LPV.
10. When using the LPV with the Blom Fenestrated Cuffed Tracheostomy Tube, does the cuff need to be deflated?
No. The LPV can be used with the cuff inflated, partially deflated or fully deflated.
11. How does the LPV differ from other brands/traditional speaking valves?
The LPV protrudes less from the tracheostomy tube than other one-way speaking valves. Its lower profile may allow for better neck range of motion, especially if it is necessary to complete the “chin tuck” maneuver during swallowing. The LPV is more secure. Once locked into place, it will not be coughed off. The LPV can be left on during breathing treatments, and suctioning.
12. Can you use the LPV if you are on the ventilator?
No. The LPV is only for those who are off the ventilator breathing spontaneously.
13. What is the difference between the Blom Speech Cannula and other inline speaking valves?
Other inline speaking valves REQUIRE cuff deflation, whereas the Speech Cannula can be used with the cuff inflated.
14. How does the Blom Speech Cannula work?
The Speech Cannula has a “flap valve” at its lower end that opens during inhalation to allow gas to enter the lungs. During exhalation, the flap closes. The “bubble valve” on the top of the cannula collapses to allow the exhaled air to pass through the fenestration (hole) in the trach tube. The air passes through the vocal cords, allowing them to vibrate and create voice.
15. What does the label on the Speech Cannula “Use under qualified supervision only” mean?
The Speech Cannula should only be used by trained healthcare practitioners and family members who have been trained by these practitioners. Training is not limited to, but should include:
Reviewing the Speech Cannula candidacy requirements.
Suctioning the airway, back of mouth, and above-the-cuff prior to Speech Cannula placement.
How to place and remove the Speech Cannula.
Observing air passing out of the mouth/nose during exhalation, and listening to the duration and quality of speech produced with the Speech Cannula in place.
Ensuring that the Speech Cannula is immediately removed if the patient has breathing difficulty.
16. How long can the Speech Cannula be used?
This varies. Most people begin with short trials, and as they become more comfortable, may be able to extend the length of time it is used, or complete several shorter trials within one day. Remove the Speech Cannula if fatigued.
17. Is the EVR (Exhaled Volume Reservoir) needed during Speech Cannula use?
The EVR is not needed or may not be helpful with all ventilators to stop the low volume alarms from sounding when the Speech Cannula is being used. Consult with your Respiratory Therapist or the Pulmodyne Clinical Specialist to determine if the EVR is needed/useful with your ventilator.
18. How long can the EVR be used?
The EVR should be removed from the ventilator circuit when the Speech Cannula is removed from the patient. It should be replaced when the entire ventilator circuit is changed, or according to locally established protocols.