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Signa Vitae

Journal of Anaesthesia, Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine

The impact of early percutaneous tracheotomy on reduction of the incidence of ventilator associated pneumonia and the course and outcome of ICU patients


The aim of the study. The primary objective of this study was to determine the differences in the incidence of respiratory infections and septic episodes in patients who underwent early percutaneous tracheotomy (ET) and in patients who underwent translaryngeal intubation i.e late tracheotomy (LT). Secondary objectives were to determine the differences in the early mortality of patients, duration of mechanical ventilation and length of Intensive care unit (ICU) stay.

Materials and methods. The study included 72 surgical and trauma patients older than 18 years of age, treated at the ICU of the University Clinical Hospital Mostar who had undergone translaryngeal intubation and were mechanically ventilated for at least 48 hours. The basic criterion for inclusion in the study was expected duration of mechanical ventilation of at least 14 days. Forty-eight hours after enrollment, patients were randomly divided into two groups. The first group of patients underwent ET after 2-4 days of mechanical ventilation; the second group underwent LT if they exhibited longer episodes of hypoxemia after 15 days.

Results. The ET group of patients spent less time in mechanical ventilation and ICU. The ET group had a lower rate of VAS pneumonia (p=0.137), sepsis episodes (p=0.029) and mortality rate (p=0.056).

Conclusion. The results of our study support ET being performed 2–4 days from the start of mechanical ventilation. Despite a lack of power, we found significant benefits of ET regarding the incidence of pneumonia, sepsis, hospital mortality, duration of mechanical ventilation and length of ICU stay

Key words: tracheotomy, mechanical ventilation, intensive care unit, ventilator-associated pneumonia, treatment outcome, complications

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Tracheotomy versus prolonged intubation in medical intensive care unit patients


Introduction. The contribution of tracheotomy in comparison to intubation in patients on the resuscitation ward is debated. The main purpose of our study is to assess if tracheotomy compared to prolonged intubation, reduces the whole duration of ventilation, the frequency of nosocomial pneumopathy, the mean duration of hospitalisation in the resuscitation ward and mortality.
Patients and method. It is a retrospective and comparative study between two groups of patients who presented neurological or respiratory pathology and required mechanical ventilation for more than three weeks. The study lasted 7 years and involved 60 patients divided into 2 groups : the Tracheotomy Group (TG, n=30), in which a tracheotomy was performed between the eighth day and the fifteenth day, after the first period of tracheal intubation; and the Intubation Group (IG, n=30), where the patients were intubated throughout the period of hospitalization until extubation or death. We monitored the whole duration of ventilation, the frequency of nosocomial pneumopathy, the incidence of each technique as well as the mean duration of hospitalization in the resuscitation ward and the mortality rate. The two groups were similar in age, sex and gravity score : SAPS II and APACHE II.
Results. The results showed a significant statistical decrease of the whole duration of mechanical ventilation for the TG: 27.03 ± 3.31 days versus 31.63 ± 6.05 days for the IG (P = 0.001). However, there is no significant difference between the two groups, whereas the frequency of nosocomial pneumopathy is about 53.3% in the group with tracheotomy versus 70% for the intubated group (P = 0.18). This shows, on the other hand, the late prevalence of nosocomial pneumopathy in the tracheotomy group patients.
We noticed one case of bleeding after tracheotomy. Sinusitis was also diagnosed but without a significant difference between the two groups, 6.7% (2 cases) in the TG and 10% (3 cases) for the IG (P = 0.31). The mean duration of hospitalization didn’t differ between the two groups; it was 30.96 ± 9.47 days for the TG versus 34.26 ± 9.74 days for the IG (P = 0.10). The study shows that there is no statistically significant difference in mortality between the two groups, 26.7% in the TG versus 46.7% for the IG (P = 0.10).
Conclusion. It seems that tracheotomy, in medical ICU patients, leads to a shorter duration of ventilation, delayed nosocomial pneumopathy without the modification of its frequency and the mean duration of hospitalization or death.

Keywords: tracheotomy, prolonged intubation, pneumopathy, mechanical ventilation, mortality

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