COVID-19 Tracheostomy: Experience in a University Hospital With Intermediate Follow-up

J Intensive Care Med. 2021 Dec;36(12):1507-1512. doi: 10.1177/08850666211043436. Epub 2021 Oct 29.


The benefits of percutaneous dilational tracheostomy (PDT) placement have been well documented in patients requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation. However, the data regarding the benefit of PDT in coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) patients are scarce. The objective of this study is to evaluate the outcomes of a cohort of 37 patients who underwent tracheostomy as part of their COVID-19 care. Retrospective data from a series for 37 patients undergoing tracheostomy was collected using chart review. Primary outcomes included 30 and 60 day mortality, weaning rate, and decannulation rate. Secondary outcomes collected included admission demographics, comorbidities, and procedural information. Thirty-seven (37) patients requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation due to COVID-19. Of these 37 patients, 35 were alive 60 days post-PDT placement, 33 have been weaned from mechanical ventilation and 18 have been decannulated. The low mortality and high decannulation rates in this cohort in is a promising development in the care of critically ill COVID-19 patients. Of note, all participating physicians underwent routine polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for infection with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 virus and no physician contracted COVID-19 as a result of their involvement. Overall, this case series describes the modified PDT technique used by our team and discusses the feasibility and potential benefit to PDT placement in COVID-19 patients requiring long-term mechanical ventilation.

Keywords: coronavirus-2019; critical care; tracheostomy.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Tracheostomy*