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VOLUME 19 , ISSUE 8 ( 2015 ) > List of Articles


Tracheostomy in the management of patients with thermal injuries

Mónica Mourelo, Rita Galeiras, Sonia Pértega, David Freire, Eugenia López, Javier Broullón, Eva Campos

Keywords : Burns, mechanical ventilation, tracheostomy

Citation Information : Mourelo M, Galeiras R, Pértega S, Freire D, López E, Broullón J, Campos E. Tracheostomy in the management of patients with thermal injuries. Indian J Crit Care Med 2015; 19 (8):449-455.

DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.162460

License: CC BY-ND 3.0

Published Online: 01-07-2016

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2015; The Author(s).


Objective: To assess the use and clinical impact of tracheostomy in burn patients. Summary Background Data: The role of tracheostomy in the management of burn patients is controversial, with only a few recent studies conducted in this population. Methods: Retrospective study of all adult burn patients who underwent a tracheostomy in a Burns Unit between 1995 and 2013. These were compared with a control group (1:1) who underwent orotracheal intubation. Hospital records were reviewed to obtain demographic and clinical information, including those related to respiratory support and tracheostomy. The McNemar′s Chi-square and Signed-Rank Tests were used to study differences in morbimortality between both groups. Results: A total of n = 20 patients underwent tracheostomy (0.9% of admissions, 56.0 ± 19.5 years, 60.0% women). The most common indication was long-term ventilation (75%), 24.6 ± 19.7 days after admission. Thirteen patients were successfully decannulated with a fatal complication observed in one case. Patients in the tracheostomy group were found to require longer-term mechanical ventilation (43.2 vs. 20.4 days; P = 0.004), with no differences in respiratory infection rates (30.0% vs. 31.6%; P = 0.687) or mortality (30.0% vs. 42.1%; P = 0.500). Ventilator weaning times (15.7 vs. 3.3 days; P = 0.001) and hospital stays (99.1 vs. 53.1 days; P = 0.030) were longer in the tracheostomy group, with no differences in duration of sedation. Conclusions: Tracheostomy may be a safe procedure in burn patients and is not associated with higher rates of mortality or respiratory infection. Tracheostomy patients showed longer mechanical ventilation times and higher morbidity, probably not attributable to tracheostomy.

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