Use and safety of percutaneous tracheostomy in intensive care. Report of a postal survey of ICU practice

Anaesthesia. 1998 Dec;53(12):1209-12. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2044.1998.00579.x.


A brief questionnaire was sent to 231 clinical directors of intensive care units in England and Wales to investigate the use of percutaneous tracheostomy. There was a 76% response rate. Percutaneous tracheostomies were in use in 78.4% of units. The Ciaglia technique was the most commonly used, with 31.3% routinely using fibreoscopy as part of their technique. Only 12% of units routinely provided long-term follow up of their percutaneous tracheostomies. Overall, 78.4% thought that percutaneous tracheostomy was safe and 66.7% considered percutaneous tracheostomy to be the technique of choice for Intensive Care patients. Percutaneous tracheostomy is now a well-established technique. However, the limited use of fibreoscopy and the lack of long-term follow-up are areas of concern.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Endoscopy / statistics & numerical data
  • England
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units / standards*
  • Long-Term Care
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tracheostomy / methods
  • Tracheostomy / psychology
  • Tracheostomy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Utilization Review
  • Wales