Trach tubes designed to maximize safety may increase risk to ventilated patients

Crit Care. 2010;14(6):1008. doi: 10.1186/cc9306. Epub 2010 Dec 8.


Dual-cannulae tracheostomy tubes with low-pressure cuffs, such as the Shiley LPC, are widely regarded as inherently safer than single lumen tubes with low-volume cuffs. For the patient who undergoes tracheostomy for failure to wean from mechanical ventilation, however, the insertion of a tube that occupies a large amount of space within the trachea can delay subsequent efforts to liberate him from the ventilator. With an aim to promote more timely rehabilitation of ventilated patients, London Ontario's University Hospital has been inserting the Bivona TTS, a single lumen tube with an elastic cuff, during tracheostomy. This allows caregivers to better exploit the benefits of a functional upper airway early during the weaning process, which may reduce complications associated with prolonged mechanical ventilation. We urge clinical studies to determine how the choice of initial tracheostomy tube can affect rehabilitation strategies and important patient outcomes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Equipment Design / instrumentation*
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / instrumentation*
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / methods
  • Respiration, Artificial / instrumentation*
  • Respiration, Artificial / methods
  • Tracheostomy / instrumentation*
  • Tracheostomy / methods