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Tracheostomy Tubes

Inner diameter / outer diameter / length

These are ways of describing tube size. The inner diameter is the number used to describe the tube. So a size 4.0 tube will have an inner diameter of 4.0 mm.


This is the part of the tube on the outside that goes side to side and tracheostomy tapes are tied to. The flange can be straight, or shaped like a V.


Shiley: common paediatric tubes

Bivona: common paediatric tubes

Moore: very soft tube, usually for adults

Tracoe: adult type tubes, or for teenagers

Bivona Flextend

The FlexTend part refers to the fact that these tubes have an outside bit that is longer and sticks away from the skin. This can be helpful in some children as it means that the tube opening doesn't get hidden or obstructed under the chin. However, it other children, the longer outside bit can make it just too easy for children to grab and pull the tube out!

Bivona customised tubes

Tubes that are made individually to each child's requirement, and can be useful of one of the standard tubes isn't quite right. Length, width and other aspects can be specified depending on what your child needs.

Shiley PDL

These tubes are longer, and therefore often used in older children or teenagers.

Single lumen vs double lumen


Single lumen means that there is just one tube. Double lumen means that there is a tube within a tube, so an inner tube and an outer tube.


If the tube becomes blocked, the single lumen tube needs to be changed in its entirety. But in a double lumen, only the inner tube needs to be changed, and the outer stays. That is the advantage of the double lumen tube. But it also means that the double lumen tube is much more bulky, and therefore just too big for babies and children.

Babies and children usually have single lumen tubes. Teenagers may have double lumen tubes.

Cuffed or uncuffed

A cuff means that there is an inflatable balloon on the inside tip of the tube. Children's tubes are usually cuffless. Cuffed tubes are sometimes used to help make the ventilator machines work better.

Adjustable flange tubes


These are tubes where the length can be adjusted before insertion, rather than having a fixed length like other tubes do. They are useful if the team is trying to find the right inside length for your child, as they can change length and then see how it sits. But because the tube is adjustable, the adjustment area can also become undone and slip, so such tubes would normally only be used for short term, rather than as a permanent solution.

Bivona flextend V flange.png

Bivona Flextend with V shaped flange.


Uncuffed, non-fenestrated, single lumen tube.

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