[Year:2021] [Month:April] [Volume:25] [Number:4] [Pages:6] [Pages No:435 - 440]
Introduction: With the advancement of pediatric critical care services across India, many children require prolonged mechanical ventilation (MV), and tracheostomy is recommended to them. However, many pediatric intensivists have concerns regarding the safety, feasibility, and outcome of tracheostomy.
We aimed to analyze clinical characteristics, indication, duration, and outcome of tracheostomized children with respect to timing of tracheostomy.
Method: We conducted a retrospective study from the hospital clinical database of consecutive patients below 12 years who had undergone tracheostomy after admission into the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) for prolonged ventilation (≥96 hours) from January 2015 to December 2019. The study was approved by the Institutional Ethics Committee. Patients were divided into two groups: tracheostomies done within 14 days of MV (early tracheostomy) and patients with tracheostomies performed after 14 days (late tracheostomy). Patients’ age, sex, indications, complications, decannulation rate, length of MV, PICU, and hospital stay were analyzed.
Results: Of the 1,425 patients on invasive MV, 87 (6.1%) patients required tracheostomy after a mean 13.37 days of MV. The most common indication was encephalopathy 32 (36.7%) followed by acute respiratory distress syndrome 20 (22.9%). Factors like higher pediatric logistic organ dysfunction score, vasoactive inotrop score, incidence of pretracheostomy ventilator-associated pneumonia, and difficulty in obtaining parental consent were associated with late tracheostomy. The early tracheostomy group had a higher decannulation rate (odds ratio, 5.17; p, 0.01) and weaning rate (odds ratio, 5.94; p, 0.032). The late tracheostomy group needed a longer duration of MV, PICU, and hospital stay. Complications of tracheostomy were less in the early tracheostomy patients (odds ratio, 2.95; p, 0.03).
Conclusion: Early tracheostomy was associated with lower complications, higher successful weaning rates, and less utilization of intensive care facilities in patients receiving prolonged MV.
Clinical significance: In the context of scarcity of data on the timing of tracheostomy in children with prolonged ventilation (≥96 hours) the study shows that early (<14 days) tracheostomy is associated with a better outcome.