Among critically ill patients, tracheostomy is one of the oldest and most commonly performed surgical procedures. Tracheostomy creates an artificial opening, or stoma, in the trachea to establish an airway through the neck (Ron B et al 2012). The stoma is usually maintained by inserting a tracheostomy tube through the opening. Tracheostomy is performed on the intensive care units (ICUs) for upper airway obstruction, prolonged endotracheal intubation, and for those requiring bronchial hygiene. After the each surgery the patent need very careful care. Within the ICU it is common for patients to undergo chest radiography (CR) immediately after tracheostomy tube placement (post-tracheostomy), by using of mobile radiography machine, that to evaluate for early detection unsuspected complications and improper instrumentation placement.
The tracheostomy tube need to placed correctly to avoid any complication, the tip the tube should be located one half to two thirds the distance between the tracheal stoma and the carina, at about the level of the third thoracic vertebral body. While the trachestomy lumen should placed about two thirds the tracheal diameter and cuff should hug but not distend the tracheal wall. Chest radiograph should obtained immediately after trachestomy to check tube position to search for any possible complication such as pneumothorax, pneumomediastinum or pleural effusion.
The patient in the ICU ward usually critical ill and supported by mechanical monitoring devices the position these devices an important component of critical care managements is best checked radiographically. Mobile Radiography is using transportable radiographic equipment that allow imaging services to be brought to patient. There are two types of mobile machines, battery operated and capacitor discharge (Power source). It is comely preformed in patients rooms/ wards, emergency dept, ICU, surgery and recovery rooms. The main mobile radiography components are generator, tube, tube stand, high tension transformer, control unit, and wheeled base. Detector…
Moreover, an injury to the adjacent structure are considerably one of the complication of trachestomy tube placement. Therefore, CT-scan are require since chest radiograph are often difficult to detect the injury. CT are also important to localize exactly the trachestomy tube rather than plain film.
Complication of the tracheostomy tube placement
The accuracy and efficacy of portable chest radiography depend on the optimal radiographic technique and availability of images to evaluated and rapid reporting by the radiologist. Three main technique consideration in the mobile radiography are grid, anode heel effect, and Source image distance (SID). The grid must placed in the correct and centered to central ray to avoid grid cutoff and image density is lost so, post-trachestomy portable chest radiograph it must be centered to approximately 7cm below jugular notch of the sternum . The heel effect cause decrease of image density under the anode side of mobile x.ray tube. Short SID and large field size are common in the mobile x.ray, therefore correct placement of the anode cathode axis with regard to anatomy is essential. The third technique consideration is the SID which should be maintanines at a 100 cm but sometime the distance is increased which leads the mA to be increased and the portable machine has a limit means it gives a longer exposure which could causes motation artifact.
The good quality of chest radiograph depend on four main factor which are rotation, position, inspiration, and exposure. The patient and x.ray beam must be at right angle, any degree of deviation from the perpendicular will result in a rotated film. Post-trachestomy patient usually unconscious, difficult to give them the inspiratory instruction , so the radiographer should assess the patient chest wall when it become full with air, radiographer will expose.
Role of the radiographer and patient care
Radiographer should aware about the preparation for mobile examination. Pre examination preparation are first calling ICU ward to make sure patient is ready for x-ray and Getting full details of patient before going. Mobile machine should be ready and if battery operated machine is used making sure it is charge. Once arriving in ICU ward the radiographer should ask the nurse to check you have right patient to be x-ray. Set mobile in right position and exposure. One of the radiographer responsibility is to ask family members, visitors, staff there to wait outside the room as radiation protection for them. While the preparation during examination include explanation the procedure and communicate with patient if conscious, position the patient semi-erect but if cannot position patient supine Then put the cassette and tube in correct position. Also the radiographer should ask nurse for help if needed, explain breathing instruction if patient conscious and observe patient while exposing. The radiographer preparation after examination are taking detector and tube away from the patient, to keep patient in comfortable position radiographer should ask nurses for help. At the end, the radiographer must clean detector and mobile machine and keep it in proper parking position.
the radiation safety concept in mobile radiography
The Radiographer going for a mobile x-ray must be aware of the radiation safety for him/herself, patient, relatives and other staff. He should be standing approx 2 meters from the unit while exposing, standing at a right angle to minimise scatter radiation. The patient should have gonad protection. Relatives must leave the area before exposing but should also wear a lead apron if requested to hold the cassette. Other staff should be informed before exposure takes place or provided with a gown if cannot leave the patient unattended.