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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 Am Thorac Soc ; 18(11): 1876-1885, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1084007


Rationale: Patients with severe coronavirus disease (COVID-19) meet clinical criteria for the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), yet early reports suggested they differ physiologically and clinically from patients with non-COVID-19 ARDS, prompting treatment recommendations that deviate from standard evidence-based practices for ARDS. Objectives: To compare respiratory physiology, clinical outcomes, and extrapulmonary clinical features of severe COVID-19 with non-COVID-19 ARDS. Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study, comparing 130 consecutive mechanically ventilated patients with severe COVID-19 with 382 consecutive mechanically ventilated patients with non-COVID-19 ARDS. Initial respiratory physiology and 28-day outcomes were compared. Extrapulmonary manifestations (inflammation, extrapulmonary organ injury, and coagulation) were compared in an exploratory analysis. Results: Comparison of patients with COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 ARDS suggested small differences in respiratory compliance, ventilatory efficiency, and oxygenation. The 28-day mortality was 30% in patients with COVID-19 and 38% in patients with non-COVID-19 ARDS. In adjusted analysis, point estimates of differences in time to breathing unassisted at 28 days (adjusted subdistributional hazards ratio, 0.98 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.77-1.26]) and 28-day mortality (risk ratio, 1.01 [95% CI, 0.72-1.42]) were small for COVID-19 versus non-COVID-19 ARDS, although the confidence intervals for these estimates include moderate differences. Patients with COVID-19 had lower neutrophil counts but did not differ in lymphocyte count or other measures of systemic inflammation. Conclusions: In this single-center cohort, we found no evidence for large differences between COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 ARDS. Many key clinical features of severe COVID-19 were similar to those of non-COVID-19 ARDS, including respiratory physiology and clinical outcomes, although our sample size precludes definitive conclusions. Further studies are needed to define COVID-19-specific pathophysiology before a deviation from evidence-based treatment practices can be recommended.

COVID-19 , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , Humans , Respiration, Artificial , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2