Question 6.3

What is the item shown in the photograph below?

6.3 b)  List the specific design features of Item a, which make it suitable for use.

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College Answer

Adjustable flange allows variability of tracheostomy length
Softer tube enables more flexible curvature
Reinforced tubing prevents kinking
High volume, low pressure cuff
Radio-opaque due to reinforced tubing
Able to be inserted via percutaneous technique


This is a flanged tracheostomy tube.

John Hopkins have a good basic page about the diffrent types of tracheostomy tubes.

A more detailed look is afforded by this product brochure from Smith.

An insanely detailed review is also available.

Thus :

  • The tube has a curved portion and a straight portion, which allows the flange to be adjusted to the appropriate pretracheal tissue thickness.
  • Adjustable flange allows adjustment of tracheostomy length to any length of patient neck
  • It is suitable for patients with up to 50mm of pretracheal tissue
  • Soft tube allows a degree of flexibility, especially when warmed to body temperature.
  • The tubing is reinforced, which prevents kinking
  • The material is MRI-friendly
  • High volume, low pressure cuff
  • Radio-opaque tubing allows visualisation of position on CXR (but there is no "blue line" like with ETTs
  • Some of these are designed for percutaneous insertion


Hess, Dean R. "Tracheostomy tubes and related appliances." Respiratory care50.4 (2005): 497-510.