Incidence and treatment modalities of tracheobronchial injuries in Germany

Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2009 May;8(5):571-6. doi: 10.1510/icvts.2008.196790. Epub 2009 Feb 11.


This study presents the first systematic data collection on incidence and therapeutic management of both iatrogenic and non-iatrogenic tracheal lacerations in Germany. In this survey (n=231 questionnaires) based on the geographical coverage of the country, the representation of all levels of service, and the inclusion of specialized thoracic departments as well as non-specialized surgical departments, a representative conspectus on the management of tracheal injuries in Germany was developed. A total number of 1033 tracheal injuries were reported; n=429 of non-iatrogenic origin (blunt trauma: n=276, penetrating wounds: n=94, bullet wounds: n=16, other etiology: n=43) and n=604 of iatrogenic origin (endotracheal intubations/mechanical ventilation: n=372, dilative tracheotomy: n=181, endoscopic interventions: n=51). In institutions of high level of service there was a trend towards higher rates of surgical repair as opposed to conservative management. On the basis of these data the estimated risk of tracheal lacerations, due to single lumen intubation was 1:75,000 (0.000013%); the risk of clinically significant tracheal lacerations due to dilative tracheostomy 1:575 (0.002%) and lacerations requiring surgical treatment 1:975 (0.001%). Data of this survey state that specialized thoracic surgeons to a high proportion are involved in the management of both iatrogenic and non-iatrogenic tracheal injuries.

MeSH terms

  • Bronchi* / injuries
  • Bronchi* / surgery
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Hospital Units
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Iatrogenic Disease*
  • Incidence
  • Lacerations* / epidemiology
  • Lacerations* / etiology
  • Lacerations* / surgery
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Specialties, Surgical* / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Thoracic Surgical Procedures* / statistics & numerical data
  • Trachea* / injuries
  • Trachea* / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wounds and Injuries* / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries* / etiology
  • Wounds and Injuries* / surgery