The safety of percutaneous tracheostomy in patients with coagulopathy or thrombocytopenia

Middle East J Anaesthesiol. 2007 Feb;19(1):37-49.


The safety and complications of percutaneous tracheostomy (PT) without bronchoscopic guidance in a group of ICU patients with thrombocytopenia platelet count of < or = 60.000/mm3) or coagulopathy (INR > or = 1.5 or systemic heparinization), was studied. During the study period (May 2004-June 2005), 190 percutaneous tracheostomies were performed. Of these there were 11 (6%) patients with prolonged INR, 7 (4%) patients with thrombocytopenia and 14 (7%) patients on systemic heparin. There was no evidence of bleeding in patients with prolonged INR. A minor bleeding developed in only one patient with thrombocytopenia, and in two patients receiving systemic heparin. The PT was aborted for one patient with thrombocytopenia and slight increase of INR (1.3) due to major bleeding in spite of transfusion of both platelets and FFP. Our data suggest the incidence of bleeding is low in patients with coagulopathy and or thrombocytopenia-undergoing PT without bronchoscopic guidance.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Coagulation Disorders / complications*
  • Female
  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • Heparin / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Thrombocytopenia / complications*
  • Tracheostomy / adverse effects*
  • Tracheostomy / methods


  • Heparin