Journal Article
Observational Study
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Outcomes and survival of tracheostomised patients during the COVID-19 pandemic in a third level hospital.

PURPOSE: Analyse the evolution and outcomes of COVID-19 tracheostomised patients. Clarify if this cohort presents an increased risk of haemorrhagic complications and verify the correlation between some risk factors with increased mortality.

METHODS: A retrospective single-centre observational study of a prospective cohort of all COVID-19 patients admitted to our centre between March and April 2020. A control group was obtained from a historical cohort of patients who required tracheostomy due to prolonged invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) before 2020.

RESULTS: A total of 1768 patients were included: 67 tracheostomised non-COVID-19 patients (historic cohort), 1371 COVID-19 patients that did not require ICU admission, 266 non-tracheostomised COVID-19 patients and 64 tracheostomised COVID-19 patients. Comparing the obesity prevalence, 54.69% of the tracheostomised COVID-19 patients were obese and 10.53% of the non-tracheostomised COVID-19 patients (p < 0.001). The median of ICU admission days was lower (p < 0.001) in the non-tracheostomised cohort (12.5 days) compared with the COVID-19 tracheostomised cohort (34 days). The incidence of haemorrhagic complications was significantly higher in tracheostomised COVID-19 patients (20.31%) compared with tracheostomised non-COVID-19 patients (5.97%) and presented a higher percentage of obesity, hypertension, diabetes and smoking, significantly different from the historic cohort (p < 0.001). A Cox model showed that tracheostomy had no statistically significant effect on mortality in COVID-19 patients.

CONCLUSION: Obesity and smoking may be risk factors for tracheostomy in COVID-19 patients, tracheostomised COVID-19 patients present a higher risk of bleeding complications than those admitted for other reasons and an elevated LDH and INR on ICU admission may be associated with increased mortality.

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