The effect of Cloth Stoma Covers on the tracheal climate of laryngectomised patients

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Patients that have undergone a laryngectomy lose the normal heat-moisture-exchange functions of the nose and upper airways. Breathing unconditioned air can cause irritation of the tracheal and bronchial mucosa and lead to chest complaints such as irritating coughing and excessive mucus production and mucus plugs. Disposable HME's that cover the tracheostoma and are stuck to the skin with adhesives are believed to improve the condition of inspired air for laryngectomy patients. HME's work by accumulating heat and moisture during exhalation and reciprocally warming and humidifying in spired air. Due to the cost of HMEs they are not affordable to the general population in South Africa and many other countries. Stoma Covers are simple devices made of a single fabric or combinations of fabrics that are fastened around the neck with the cloth covering the tracheostoma. They are relatively inexpensive to manufacture and can be washed and re-used. No research has been conducted to date regarding the effect of using simple Stoma Covers to improve the tracheal climate in laryngectomy patients.

Includes bibliographical references.