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Cureus ; 14(9): e29633, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2072223


Pregnant women are at high risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) complications, including acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and the need for mechanical ventilation. There is no literature on the optimal strategy for the management of difficult-to-wean pregnant and early postpartum patients. We report two cases of pregnant women with COVID-19 pneumonia and ARDS, who required mechanical ventilation and high doses of analgesia, and sedation with neuromuscular blocking agents to facilitate ventilation and oxygenation. Both patients had a tracheostomy procedure to facilitate weaning from mechanical ventilation and sedation. Shortly after tracheostomy, sedation and analgesia, along with ventilatory support were weaned off. Both patients were discharged home. These cases propose early tracheostomy as a strategy to facilitate weaning from mechanical ventilation and sedation in pregnant and early postpartum patients.

J Intensive Care Med ; 37(9): 1121-1132, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1820051


BACKGROUND: A significant proportion of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients require admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) and invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV). Tracheostomy is increasingly performed when a prolonged course of IMV is anticipated. OBJECTIVES: To determine clinical and resource utilization benefits of early versus late tracheostomy among COVID-19 patients. METHODS: Pubmed, Cochrane Library, Scopus, and Embase were used to identify relevant studies comparing outcomes of COVID-19 patients undergoing early and late tracheostomy from January 1, 2020, to December 1, 2021. RESULTS: Twelve studies were selected, and 2222 critically ill COVID-19 patients hospitalized between January to December 2020 were included. Among the included patients, 34.5% and 65.5% underwent early and late tracheostomy, respectively. Among the included studies, 58.3% and 41.7% defined early tracheostomy using cutoffs of 14 and 10 days, respectively. All-cause in-hospital mortality was not different between the early and late tracheostomy groups (32.9% vs. 33.1%; OR = 1.00; P = 0.98). Sensitivity analysis demonstrated a similar mortality rate in studies using a cutoff of 10 days (34.6% vs. 35.5%; OR = 0.97; P = 0.89) or 14 days (31.2% vs. 27.7%; OR = 1.05; P = 0.78). The early tracheostomy group had shorter ICU length of stay (LOS) (mean: 23.18 vs. 30.51 days; P < 0.001) and IMV duration (mean: 20.49 vs. 28.94 days; P < 0.001) than the late tracheostomy group. The time from tracheostomy to decannulation was longer (mean: 23.36 vs. 16.24 days; P = 0.02) in the early tracheostomy group than in the late tracheostomy group, but the time from tracheostomy to IMV weaning was similar in both groups. Other clinical characteristics, including age, were similar in both groups. CONCLUSIONS: Early tracheostomy reduced the ICU LOS and IMV duration among COVID-19 patients compared with late tracheostomy, but the mortality rate was similar in both groups. The findings have important implications for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, especially in a resource-limited setting.

COVID-19 , Tracheostomy , COVID-19/therapy , Critical Illness/therapy , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Length of Stay , Respiration, Artificial , Time Factors , Tracheostomy/adverse effects
J Clin Med ; 10(15)2021 Jul 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1335120


BACKGROUND: The benefits and timing of percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy (PDT) in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) COVID-19 patients are still controversial. PDT is considered a high-risk procedure for the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to healthcare workers (HCWs). The present study analyzed the optimal timing of PDT, the clinical outcomes of patients undergoing PDT, and the safety of HCWs performing PDT. METHODS: Of the 133 COVID-19 patients who underwent PDT in our ICU from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021, 13 patients were excluded, and 120 patients were enrolled. A trained medical team was dedicated to the PDT procedure. Demographic, clinical history, and outcome data were collected. Patients who underwent PDT were stratified into two groups: an early group (PDT ≤ 12 days after orotracheal intubation (OTI) and a late group (>12 days after OTI). An HCW surveillance program was also performed. RESULTS: The early group included 61 patients and the late group included 59 patients. The early group patients had a shorter ICU length of stay and fewer days of mechanical ventilation than the late group (p < 0.001). On day 7 after tracheostomy, early group patients required fewer intravenous anesthetic drugs and experienced an improvement of the ventilation parameters PaO2/FiO2 ratio, PEEP, and FiO2 (p < 0.001). No difference in the case fatality ratio between the two groups was observed. No SARS-CoV-2 infections were reported in the HCWs performing the PDTs. CONCLUSIONS: PDT was safe and effective for COVID-19 patients since it improved respiratory support parameters, reduced ICU length of stay and duration of mechanical ventilation, and optimized the weaning process. The procedure was safe for all HCWs involved in the dedicated medical team. The development of standardized early PDT protocols should be implemented, and PDT could be considered a first-line approach in ICU COVID-19 patients requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation.