Tracheotomy in children: evolution in indications

C S Butnaru, M P Colreavy, S Ayari, P Froehlich
International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology 2006, 70 (1): 115-9

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the evolution of indications for tracheostomy in children.

METHODS: A retrospective review of 46 children undergoing tracheostomy between 1996 and 2001.

RESULTS: The indications for tracheostomy were classified in two groups:(1) prolonged ventilator dependence (57%), (2) upper airway obstructions (43%). The average age of the tracheostomy was 3 years and 8 months. This was higher in the first group (5.5 years). Decannulation was accomplished in 52%. The indications for tracheostomy were evaluated and were found to decrease in frequency for upper airway obstructions. An increasing indication was for chronic disorders requiring prolonged ventilator dependence. Complications occurred in 50% of children. Overall mortality was 13-2.7% directly related to the tracheostomy.

CONCLUSIONS: Evolving indication has been ventilator dependence. Upper airway obstruction as an indication has diminished in frequency, especially with the concomitant progress of endoscopic techniques.

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