Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice

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Permanent tracheostomy: Its social impacts and their management in Ondo State, Southwest, Nigeria

MI Akenroye, AT Osukoya


Background: Upper respiratory tract obstruction resulting from bilateral recurrent laryngeal nerve damage is commonly managed with permanent tracheostomy in our environment.
Objective: To evaluate the social impacts of permanent tracheostomy and its management in Ondo State, Southwest Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: Four patients were managed with permanent tracheostomy due to bilateral laryngeal nerve paralysis following thyroidectomy. The observed complications are grouped as surgical/medical and social complications.
Results: Surgical/medical complications include excessive mucus production, 29 (43.2%), stoma infection 18 (26.8%), stoma polyp and soft tissue blockage of tube fenestrations were 10 (15%) each. The observed impacts on patients’ social life include: Negative attitude of family members, difficulty with professional use of voice, problems of social
integration and scarcity of tracheostomy tube with speaking valves.
Conclusion: Management of social impacts of permanent tracheostomy is more difficult than other complications and family members must be involved in it.
Key words: Negative impact on social life, permanent tracheostomy, surgical complications
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