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1.
Am J Crit Care ; : e1-e9, 2022 Aug 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1994279

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Tracheostomies are highly aerosolizing procedures yet are often indicated in patients with COVID-19 who require prolonged intubation. Robust investigations of the safety of tracheostomy protocols and provider adherence and evaluations are limited. OBJECTIVES: To determine the rate of COVID-19 infection of health care personnel involved in COVID-19 tracheostomies under a multidisciplinary safety protocol and to investigate health care personnel's attitudes and suggested areas for improvement concerning the protocol. METHODS: All health care personnel involved in tracheostomies in COVID-19-positive patients from April 9 through July 11, 2020, were sent a 22-item electronic survey. RESULTS: Among 107 health care personnel (80.5%) who responded to the survey, 5 reported a positive COVID-19 test result (n = 2) or symptoms of COVID-19 (n = 3) within 21 days of the tracheostomy. Respondents reported 100% adherence to use of adequate personal protective equipment. Most (91%) were familiar with the tracheostomy protocol and felt safe (92%) while performing tracheostomy. Suggested improvements included creating dedicated tracheostomy teams and increasing provider choices surrounding personal protective equipment. CONCLUSIONS: Multidisciplinary engagement in the development and implementation of a COVID-19 tracheostomy protocol is associated with acceptable safety for all members of the care team.

2.
J Thorac Dis ; 13(7): 4137-4145, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1344631

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Whereas data from the pre-pandemic era have demonstrated that tracheostomy can accelerate liberation from the ventilator, reduce need for sedation, and facilitate rehabilitation, concerns for healthcare worker safety have led to disagreement on tracheostomy placement in COVID-19 patients. Data on COVID-19 patients undergoing tracheostomy may inform best practices. Thus, we report a retrospective institutional cohort experience with tracheostomy in ventilated patients with COVID-19, examining associations between time to tracheostomy and duration of mechanical ventilation in relation to patient characteristics, clinical course, and survival. METHODS: Clinical data were extracted for all COVID-19 tracheostomies performed at a quaternary referral center from April-July 2020. Outcomes studied included mortality, adverse events, duration of mechanical ventilation, and time to decannulation. RESULTS: Among 64 COVID-19 tracheostomies (13% of COVID-19 hospitalizations), patients were 64% male and 42% African American, with a median age of 54 (range, 20-89). Median time to tracheostomy was 22 (range, 7-60) days and median duration of mechanical ventilation was 39.4 (range, 20-113) days. Earlier tracheostomy was associated with shortened mechanical ventilation (R2=0.4, P<0.01). Median decannulation time was 35.3 (range, 7-79) days. There was 19% mortality and adverse events in 45%, mostly from bleeding in therapeutically anticoagulated patients. CONCLUSIONS: Tracheostomy was associated with swifter liberation from the ventilator and acceptable safety for physicians in this series of critically ill COVID-19 patients. Patient mortality was not increased relative to historical data on acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Future studies are required to establish conclusions of causality regarding tracheostomy timing with mechanical ventilation, complications, or mortality in COVID-19 patients.

4.
Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg ; 164(5): 984-1000, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-788420

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: In the chronic phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, questions have arisen regarding the care of patients with a tracheostomy and downstream management. This review addresses gaps in the literature regarding posttracheostomy care, emphasizing safety of multidisciplinary teams, coordinating complex care needs, and identifying and managing late complications of prolonged intubation and tracheostomy. DATA SOURCES: PubMed, Cochrane Library, Scopus, Google Scholar, institutional guidance documents. REVIEW METHODS: Literature through June 2020 on the care of patients with a tracheostomy was reviewed, including consensus statements, clinical practice guidelines, institutional guidance, and scientific literature on COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 virology and immunology. Where data were lacking, expert opinions were aggregated and adjudicated to arrive at consensus recommendations. CONCLUSIONS: Best practices in caring for patients after a tracheostomy during the COVID-19 pandemic are multifaceted, encompassing precautions during aerosol-generating procedures; minimizing exposure risks to health care workers, caregivers, and patients; ensuring safe, timely tracheostomy care; and identifying and managing laryngotracheal injury, such as vocal fold injury, posterior glottic stenosis, and subglottic stenosis that may affect speech, swallowing, and airway protection. We present recommended approaches to tracheostomy care, outlining modifications to conventional algorithms, raising vigilance for heightened risks of bleeding or other complications, and offering recommendations for personal protective equipment, equipment, care protocols, and personnel. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Treatment of patients with a tracheostomy in the COVID-19 pandemic requires foresight and may rival procedural considerations in tracheostomy in their complexity. By considering patient-specific factors, mitigating transmission risks, optimizing the clinical environment, and detecting late manifestations of severe COVID-19, clinicians can ensure due vigilance and quality care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Infection Control/standards , Postoperative Care , Tracheostomy , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Pandemics , Personal Protective Equipment , Postoperative Complications/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
5.
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg ; 146(6): 579-584, 2020 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20526

ABSTRACT

Importance: The rapidly expanding novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, has challenged the medical community to an unprecedented degree. Physicians and health care workers are at added risk of exposure and infection during the course of patient care. Because of the rapid spread of this disease through respiratory droplets, health care workers who come in close contact with the upper aerodigestive tract during diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, such as otolaryngologists-head and neck surgeons, are particularly at risk. A set of safety recommendations was created based on a review of the literature and communications with physicians with firsthand knowledge of safety procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Observations: A high number of health care workers were infected during the first phase of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan, China. Subsequently, by adopting strict safety precautions, other regions were able to achieve high levels of safety for health care workers without jeopardizing the care of patients. The most common procedures related to the examination and treatment of upper aerodigestive tract diseases were reviewed. Each category was reviewed based on the potential risk imposed to health care workers. Specific recommendations were made based on the literature, when available, or consensus best practices. Specific safety recommendations were made for performing tracheostomy in patients with COVID-19. Conclusions and Relevance: Preserving a highly skilled health care workforce is a top priority for any community and health care system. Based on the experience of health care systems in Asia and Europe, by following strict safety guidelines, the risk of exposure and infection of health care workers could be greatly reduced while providing high levels of care. The provided recommendations, which may evolve over time, could be used as broad guidance for all health care workers who are involved in the care of patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Consensus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Otolaryngology/standards , Otorhinolaryngologic Diseases/surgery , Otorhinolaryngologic Surgical Procedures/standards , Patient Care/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Comorbidity , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Humans , Otorhinolaryngologic Diseases/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2
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