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Am J Crit Care ; 31(6): 452-460, 2022 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1994279


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.

COVID-19 , Humans , Tracheostomy/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2 , Personal Protective Equipment , Delivery of Health Care
J Thorac Dis ; 13(7): 4137-4145, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1344631


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.

Ann Surg ; 274(2): 234-239, 2021 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1304022


OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess the outcomes of tracheostomy in patients with COVID-19 respiratory failure. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Tracheostomy has an essential role in managing COVID-19 patients with respiratory failure who require prolonged mechanical ventilation. However, limited data are available on how tracheostomy affects COVID-19 outcomes, and uncertainty surrounding risk of infectious transmission has led to divergent recommendations and practices. METHODS: It is a multicenter, retrospective study; data were collected on all tracheostomies performed in COVID-19 patients at 7 hospitals in 5 tertiary academic medical systems from February 1, 2020 to September 4, 2020. RESULT: Tracheotomy was performed in 118 patients with median time from intubation to tracheostomy of 22 days (Q1-Q3: 18-25). All tracheostomies were performed employing measures to minimize aerosol generation, 78.0% by percutaneous technique, and 95.8% at bedside in negative pressure rooms. Seventy-eight (66.1%) patients were weaned from the ventilator and 18 (15.3%) patients died from causes unrelated to tracheostomy. No major procedural complications occurred. Early tracheostomy (≤14 days) was associated with decreased ventilator days; median ventilator days (Q1-Q3) among patients weaned from the ventilator in the early, middle and late groups were 21 (21-31), 34 (26.5-42), and 37 (32-41) days, respectively with P = 0.030. Compared to surgical tracheostomy, percutaneous technique was associated with faster weaning for patients weaned off the ventilator [median (Q1-Q3): 34 (29-39) vs 39 (34-51) days, P = 0.038]; decreased ventilator-associated pneumonia (58.7% vs 80.8%, P = 0.039); and among patients who were discharged, shorter intensive care unit duration [median (Q1-Q3): 33 (27-42) vs 47 (33-64) days, P = 0.009]; and shorter hospital length of stay [median (Q1-Q3): 46 (33-59) vs 59.5 (48-80) days, P = 0.001]. CONCLUSION: Early, percutaneous tracheostomy was associated with improved outcomes compared to surgical tracheostomy in a multi-institutional series of ventilated patients with COVID-19.

COVID-19/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Respiration, Artificial , Respiratory Insufficiency/therapy , Respiratory Insufficiency/virology , Tracheostomy/methods , Adult , Aged , Cross Infection/transmission , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Tracheotomy/methods , United States
Chest ; 159(5): 1729-1731, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1103776