Washing hair w/o getting trach wet

  1. Is it possible to wash someone's hair without getting their tracheostomy incision wet? I saw a patient in the hospital today who got his trach taken out 2 days ago and now he just has tape over the trach hole. The doctors said that it will heal up within 10 days. The guy is getting discharged today and he wants to wash his hair really bad. But the doctor said its very hard to do because you can't get the trach hole wet because you'll choke on the water. There are just two pieces of tape over the hole. Is there any safe way for him to wash his hair without putting his life in jeapordy? I just wanted to see if i could get any ideas from people in here. I'd appreciate your thoughts and opinions on this! Thanks
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   leslie :-D
    right now i've drawn a blank, but there's a foam tape out, that does a wonderful job of occluding.
    it's waterproof, thick and has good gripping power.
    anyone know what i'm talking about?
    i'll do some research and get back to you if i remember the name...

    leslie
  4. by   leslie :-D
    3m microfoam tape.
    it comes in widths from 1"-4" and is on a 5.5 yd roll.
    it stretches, is water-repellant, non-latex and i think, would be ideal in covering the trach site while your pt washes his hair.
    it has great sticking power so even if he gets the site wet, he'll be safe.

    leslie
  5. by   pickledpepperRN
    I wash patients hair in bed who have trachs, intubated or not.
    I always tell the Doc my plan early in the (night) shift and make sure it is OK. The patient must be able to cooperate.
    We have a "bed fast rinser". Rolling a "basin" under their head with plastic garbage bags and making a trough to drain into a trash can works too. Tape another bag so it goes all the way into the can.
    Use lots of towels under and beside the patients neck. It is best to have two people it the patient has a trach.
    The patient is all the way to the edge of the bed with the siderail up. (Plastic through the rails.
    I barely wet the hair with warm water from a drinking pitcher. Lather with a little "no rinse" shampoo.
    Carefully rinse ensuring not to overflow. If using the pillow under plastic I have to push down on the pillow to facilitate draining.

    Then make sure all the water is drained. Have someone help you lift the patients head. Quickly remove the wet towels and wrap the patients hair in a dry towel.
    If the patient cannot get up change the sheets and put a pad unter the head. We have used leave-in conditioner.

    Patient really appreciate this.

    I can’t find a picture of our rinser. . Maybe your hospital could use one of these:

    Deluxe Shampoo Basin from ActiveForever.com

    Amazon.com: hair washing tray
  6. by   leslie :-D
    hahahaha spacenurse.
    i've used one of those contraptions and i still managed to make a soaking mess.
    i don't care to use the dry or leave-in shampoos-makes their hair flaky afterwards.
    but one time i did use a shampoo that the astronauts use in space.
    and it worked quite well.
    but it was just too darned expensive to use on a reg basis.

    i would definitely have an assistant with me and bring the pt in the shower, where i could use the hand sprayer.
    i would have it over with in 5 minutes.

    leslie
  7. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from earle58
    hahahaha spacenurse.
    i've used one of those contraptions and i still managed to make a soaking mess.
    i don't care to use the dry or leave-in shampoos-makes their hair flaky afterwards.
    but one time i did use a shampoo that the astronauts use in space.
    and it worked quite well.
    but it was just too darned expensive to use on a reg basis.

    i would definitely have an assistant with me and bring the pt in the shower, where i could use the hand sprayer.
    i would have it over with in 5 minutes.

    leslie
    We have the kind used in space.
    If you just we their hair and dry it helps some. But it takes water to really get hair clean.
    We recently had a long term patient with so many underlying conditions anf a big surgery. Intubated on a vent long enough to need a trach.
    She could write legible notes on a magic slate. Often we could read her lips.

    Yeah the bed was wet but none got in her trach.
    She was so happy to get her hair washed.
  8. by   bethin
    We use shower caps. I can't remember the brand name but I've seen them at CVS and Wal Mart. You warm it up in the microwave and put it on pt's head. Scrub like you would if you were in the shower. Remove the cap and comb out. No rinsing and it does a good job. Smells really good too. There's no way the trach would get wet. Even if you balled it up and squeezed the cap you wouldn't get any liquid out. Don't know how it works and I don't care. I use it alot on the bedridden pts on med/surg.
  9. by   GregRN
    Sage Products, Inc. makes a shampoo and conditioner all-in-one cap. Put it in the microwave for 30 seconds, put it on your patient's head (worn just like a shower cap), work it into the hair and just comb out. It does a good job of keeping hair clean without all of the wetness and would work very well on a patient who has a trach.
  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    bethin and GregRN:

    I'll have to check these out. What a time saver!
  11. by   noBS N
    This is too funny. I thought you were saying Washing hair w/o getting track wet. LoL!!

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