Pediatric tracheotomy: 3-year experience at a tertiary care center with 54 children

Sinan Atmaca, Cem Bayraktar, Nazik Aşilioğlu, Gökhan Kalkan, Zeki Ozsoy
Turkish Journal of Pediatrics 2011, 53 (5): 537-40
The aim of this study was to evaluate the indications, complications and outcomes of pediatric tracheotomies at a tertiary care center. Data were obtained retrospectively from 54 patients who underwent tracheotomy from July 2007 to May 2010. Over the three-year period, 54 tracheotomies were performed. Thirty-two patients (59.3%) were male and 22 (40.7%) were female. The mean and median ages of the patients were 54 and 14 months (6 days-17 years), respectively. Twenty-six patients (48.1%) were under 1 year of age. The most common indication for tracheotomy was prolonged intubation (87%), followed by upper airway obstruction (13%). Five patients (9.2%) underwent tracheotomy under semiurgent settings. The overall complication rate was 29.6% (16/54). Early complications occurred in 7 patients (13%), including accidental decannulation in 2 patients, subcutaneous emphysema in 4 patients and hemorrhage in 1 patient. Late complications occurred in 9 patients (16.7%) (stomal granulation in 7 patients and stomal infection in 2 patients). Eight patients (14.8%) were decannulated successfully. No tracheotomy-related deaths occurred, with an overall mortality rate of 27.7% (15/54). Pediatric tracheotomy is a relatively safe procedure with a low incidence of procedure-related morbidities. The indication for the majority of the procedures was prolonged intubation (87%). The lower decannulation rate is related to the higher percentage of patients needing assisted ventilation and the relatively short follow-up period.

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