Monitoring + Critical Care
There are two ways to complete this process. For a long time we simply put a 20-gauge needle onto the line and inserted it into the trach tube. It makes a little hole but you can often reuse the same needle hole. If you try to stay on top of the tube, there is less of a problem with water buildup. The better solution is to drill a hole into the trach tube adapter of the y-piece; then cement a luer lock adapter into the hole. Then the sampling line fits in tightly; when not attached, a PRN fills the hole. Same thing goes there; if you keep the sampling "port" on top, you get less water.
Nora Matthews, DVM, DACVA
Co-Chief of Surgical Sciences, Texas A&M University