It seems every nurse who comes into our house is super impressed by how I've organized Ellie's area in our living room, especially her suctioning equipment. I thought I'd share my setup here for other people caring for someone who has a trach and would like ideas.
We use the clean technique, not sterile. We wash hands as much as possible but sometimes there isn't enough time, in which case we use hand sanitizer. You'll find the regular alcohol-based hand sanitizer plus a bottle of sanitizer that does not contain alcohol and it's easier on my skin but doesn't dry as quickly.
The little wooden bin was something I had just lying around. I use it to tote my suction jars around if I move Ellie from her crib to a chair in the living room or if we visit Nathan's room to read books etc. I also use it to carry all the jars into the kitchen for washing twice daily.
For the jars I used mason jars with these drinking lids placed upside down in the jars. http://www.freshpreservingstore.com/ball-regular-mouth-ball-sip-and-straw-lids/shop/619937/?CCAID=FPPTPDRMSSL&_ga=1.253282767.752297543.1449539269 I had those lids on all the jars but I had the lids secured with metal rings. Over time, the metal rusted so I purchased the plastic storage lids for mason jars and had my husband cut and drill holes in the lids. If I wanted to spend the money I'd probably just invest in these instead:https://sproutpeople.org/sprouting-jar-plastic-ring/ in combination with the sip and straw lids inverted. The jars are great because they are easy to clean and dishwasher safe. Plus, doesn't everyone have canning jars?
All the jars are numbered and labeled to minimize confusion.
1. 1/4 vinegar, 3/4 boiled water for the first rinse.
2. Boiled water to rinse vinegar out of suction catheter.
3. Empty jar for dry storage to keep suction catheter clean before uses. The suction catheter gets changed at least twice daily.
The last jar is labeled "Neo" for neosucker. It's the snot-sucker for nasal and oral secretions. It's filled with just boiled water.
Ellie doesn't always get a change of scenery because she has so much equipment. I had my husband design and build a tray for the bottom of our ventilator stand so when I wheel the vent around the house I can just take all the suctioning stuff with me. Ellie needs quite a bit of suctioning so leaving the machines in another room isn't safe. If we leave the great room we also hang her GO-Bag on the basket of the vent stand. Here's what you'll usually find on her stand when we travel around the house:
Do you have a child on a ventilator? What tricks for making life easier do you have to share with us?
P.S. Maybe in the future I'll post our packing routine for leaving the house. Anyone have a great all-inclusive checklist?
Courtney is Ellie's mom. She and her villiage have been raising Ellie (and her big brother Nathan) and learning how to live with and manage life around Ellie's physical disabilities and special needs. It's not easy but our villiage is amazing. Thank you to all of you who support us, love us, and provide hope, wishes and prayers.