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An emergency tracheotomy kit is kept at the bedside at all times. A Kelly clamp is also kept at the bedside to hold open the tracheostomy site in an emergency. Unless ordered otherwise, cuffed tracheostomy tubes must be inflated if the patient is receiving positive-pressure ventilation. In other cases, the cuff is kept deflated if the patient has problems with aspiration. The dressing and tape are changed every 8 hr, using aseptic technique. Skin breakdown is prevented by covering tracheostomies with an oval dressing between the airway device and the skin. To apply neck tapes, two lengths of twill tape approx. 10 in (25 cm) long are obtained; the end of each is folded and a slit is made 0.5 in (1.3 cm) long about 1 in (2.5 cm) from the fold. The slit end is slipped under the neck plate and the other end of the tape pulled through the slit. This is repeated for the other side. The tape is wrapped around the neck and secured with a square knot on the side. Neck tapes should be left in place until new tapes are attached. Tracheal secretions are cultured as ordered; their color, viscosity, amount, and abnormal odor, if any, are observed. The site is inspected daily for bleeding, hematoma formation, subcutaneous emphysema, and signs of infection. Appropriate skin care is provided. The medical care team should help alleviate the patient's anxiety and apprehension and communicate openly with the patient. The patient's response is documented.