Eating on the VENT

Published

I know this may sound like a really really dumb question....

more frequently, i have seen patients on the ventilator with food trays.... this does not make any sense to me...

one patient in particular was on a trach collar during the day, and was switched to the vent in the evening because they got pretty pooped out. I walk in to my shift and the patient is busy munching on cauliflower and mashed potatoes...on the Vent.... I asked the offgoing RN if that was her intention and she said, yeah its ok, we do that all the time....

Am i missing something here?

blondy2061h, MSN, RN

1 Article; 4,094 Posts

Specializes in Oncology. Has 15 years experience.

Patients with trachs who pass swallow evals and are not sedated when they go on the vent can eat. Why would a trach patient on a trach collar be able to eat but not one on a vent?

Specializes in SICU. Has 12 years experience.

thanks! new to critical care and still operating under the " vent = npo " assumption...

GrannyRRT

188 Posts

The Passy-Muir® Valve | www.passy-muir.com

Here is a great link which will provide more education about swallowing, eating, trachs and ventilators. It also provides CEs for nurses.

Christopher Reeves, Superman, was a good example of someone who tried to maintain some normal function while being a high level C-section fx.

There are also lots of vent/trach dependent kids eating and leading fairly full lives.

Not every vent dependent patient has a cuffed trach even in adults. If aspiration is an issue, they may be fitted with a trach which has a subplot tic suction port. A cuff rarely prevents aspiration. It may only slow it down. A cuff ' s primary purpose is to form only enough of a seal to ventilate the patient if they need the full volume delivered.

GrannyRRT

188 Posts

The Passy-Muir® Valve | www.passy-muir.com

Here is a great link which will provide more education about swallowing, eating, trachs and ventilators. It also provides CEs for nurses.

Christopher Reeve, Superman, was a good example of someone who tried to maintain some normal function while being a high level C-section fx.

There are also lots of vent/trach dependent kids eating and leading fairly full lives.

Not every vent dependent patient has a cuffed trach even in adults. If aspiration is an issue, they may be fitted with a trach which has a subplot tic suction port. A cuff rarely prevents aspiration. It may only slow it down. A cuff ' s primary purpose is to form only enough of a seal to ventilate the patient if they need the full volume delivered.