Hospital and long-term outcome of trauma patients with tracheostomy for respiratory failure

Am Surg. 2005 Feb;71(2):123-7.


Studies of tracheostomy for respiratory failure have suggested a poor prognosis, however, trauma patients may have a better outcome. Data from 113 trauma patients were retrospectively analyzed for comorbidities, laboratory values, and hospital course. Long-term survival was determined from the Social Security Death Index. Trauma patients were young, overwhelmingly male, relatively healthy, and frequently uninsured. Seventy-five per cent of trauma patients were liberated from mechanical ventilation by hospital discharge. Timing of tracheostomy had no effect on days of mechanical ventilation or hospital length of stay. Hospital survival was 98 per cent, and 3-year Kaplan-Meier survival was 80 per cent. Older age and higher admission creatinine levels were predictive of late death. Trauma patients who undergo tracheostomy are likely to survive and be liberated from mechanical ventilation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Forecasting
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Medically Uninsured
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Discharge
  • Respiration, Artificial / statistics & numerical data
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • Tracheostomy* / mortality
  • Tracheostomy* / statistics & numerical data
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wounds and Injuries / complications*


  • Creatinine