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Acute Med Surg ; 8(1): e662, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1233166


AIM: An early tracheostomy is often considered for patients with veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO). However, there is no consensus on the timing of a tracheostomy in patients on VV-ECMO for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The present report described the optimal timing of tracheostomy for these patients. METHOD: The present study was a single-center case series. We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of nine consecutive patients who underwent tracheostomy either during or after VV-ECMO treatment in our center between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. RESULTS: All the patients received a percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy, which was performed during VV-ECMO in four patients. Three of these patients experienced hemorrhagic complications, and the remaining patient required a circuit change on the day after the operation. Heparin was discontinued 8 h preoperatively and resumed 1-14 h later. The platelet count was below normal in two patients, but no transfusion was performed. APTT was almost normal, and D-dimer was elevated postoperatively. The remaining five patients received a tracheostomy after weaning off VV-ECMO, and no complication was observed. Eight patients were deeply sedated during VV-ECMO to prioritize lung rest and prevent infecting the healthcare workers. CONCLUSION: In the present study, patients who underwent a tracheostomy during VV-ECMO tended to have more hemorrhagic complications. Because an early tracheostomy during ECMO has little benefit for patients with COVID-19, it should be performed after weaning off VV-ECMO to protect the safety of the healthcare workers concerned.