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VOLUME 26 , ISSUE 10 ( October, 2022 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

Safety and Feasibility of Very Early Bronchoscopy-assisted Percutaneous Dilatational Tracheostomy in Anterior Cervical Spine Fixation Patients

Amrutha Liz Paul, Ram Varaham, Kannan Balaraman, S Rajasekaran, VM Balasubramani

Keywords : Cervical spine fixation, Complications, Feasibility, Percutaneous tracheostomy

Citation Information : Paul AL, Varaham R, Balaraman K, Rajasekaran S, Balasubramani V. Safety and Feasibility of Very Early Bronchoscopy-assisted Percutaneous Dilatational Tracheostomy in Anterior Cervical Spine Fixation Patients. Indian J Crit Care Med 2022; 26 (10):1086-1090.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-24322

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 30-09-2022

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2022; The Author(s).


Background: Anterior cervical spine fixation (ACSF) is a common mode of stabilization of cervical spine injuries. These patients usually need a prolonged mechanical ventilation, so an early tracheostomy is beneficial for them. However, it is often delayed due to the close proximity to the surgical site, due to the concerns of infection, and increased bleeding. Percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy (PDT) is also considered a relative contraindication due to the inability to achieve adequate neck extension. Objectives: The objectives of our study are to assess the: • Feasibility of performing a very early percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy in cervical spine injury patients, post-anterior cervical spine fixation. • Safety in doing so with regard to surgical-site infection, early, and late complications. • Benefits with regard to outcome measures like ventilator days and length of stay (LOS) in the intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital. Materials and methods: We performed a retrospective review of all patients who underwent anterior cervical spine fixation and bedside percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy in our ICU from 1st January 2015 to 31st March 2021. Results: Out of the 269 patients admitted to our ICU with cervical spine pathology, 84 were included in the study. About 40.4% patients had injury above C5 level (n-34) and 59.5% had below C5 level. About 86.9% patients had ASIA-A neurology. In our study, percutaneous tracheostomy was done at an average of 2.8 days from the cervical spine fixation. Average length of ventilator days post-tracheostomy was 8.32 days, ICU stay was 10.5 days, and hospital stay was 28.6 days. One patient developed anterior surgical-site infection. Conclusion: We conclude from our study that a very early percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy can be done in post-anterior cervical spine fixation patients as early as within 3 days without significant complications.

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