Gastrostomy Tube Placement in Neonates Undergoing Tracheostomy: An Opportunity to Coordinate Care?

J Perinatol. 2020 Jun 1. doi: 10.1038/s41372-020-0699-9. Online ahead of print.


Objectives: To describe variations in timing of gastrostomy tube (GT) placement for neonates undergoing tracheostomy.

Methods: Database study of neonates undergoing tracheostomy and GT placement using the Pediatric Health Information System (2012-2015). The primary outcome was timing of GT relative to tracheostomy. Logistic regression evaluated associations of patient- and hospital-level characteristics with GT timing.

Results: Of 1156 patients undergoing GT and tracheostomy placement, 42.4% had concurrent GT placement, 23.3% GT placement prior to tracheostomy, and 34.3% GT placement after tracheostomy. The proportion of patients undergoing concurrent placement ranged from 0 to 80% among 47 hospitals. Neonates born at 31-35 weeks, having cardiovascular comorbidities, history of diaphragmatic hernia repair, or gastroesophageal reflux disorder were more likely to receive GT placement prior to tracheostomy.

Conclusion: Significant variability exists in the timing of neonatal tracheostomy and GT placement. Opportunities may exist to optimize coordination of care for neonates and reduce anesthetic exposure and hospital resource utilization.