Pediatric Tracheostomy There are many reasons that a child may need a tracheostomy, a surgical procedure used to create an opening through the neck into the trachea (windpipe). For example, when a child’s airway is permanently blocked, cannot be cleared of secretions or must be supported by a ventilator (breathing machine) for a long period of time, a tracheostomy may be necessary. This opening into the airway helps a child to be able to breathe. A tracheostomy is performed using a team approach that includes head and neck surgeons, speech and swallowing pathologists, respiratory therapists, specially trained nurse practitioners, physicians assistants and nurses, clinical educators and care management coordinators who work together to provide the most comprehensive care for your child and family, during and after your stay. For more information on pediatric tracheostomy, please refer to our Tracheostomy Care Handbook.