BACKGROUND: Greater than 100,000 tracheotomies are performed annually in the USA, yet little is known regarding patients who present to the emergency department (ED) with tracheostomy complications.OBJECTIVES: To characterize patient and hospital characteristics, outcomes, and charges associated with tracheostomy complications and to identify predictors of admission and mortality.METHODS: The 2009-2011 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS) was queried for patients with a principle diagnosis of tracheostomy complication. A descriptive analysis was performed and multivariable logistic regression was used to identify predictors of admission and mortality.RESULTS: A total of 69,371 nationwide visits to the ED had tracheostomy complication as an associated ICD-9 diagnosis, of which 55.2% (n = 38,293) carried a primary diagnosis of tracheostomy complication. Unspecified tracheostomy complications were most common (61.4%), followed by mechanical complications (31.3%), and lastly by tracheostomy infections (7.3%). Pediatric patients were significantly more likely to have tracheostomy infections than adults (p < 0.0001). A total of 35.5% of patients with tracheostomy complications were admitted to the hospital, and death occurred with 1.4% of visits. Patients from higher-income ZIP codes had increased odds of admission (adjusted odds ratio [OR]: 1.35; p = 0.0009), as did patients with tracheostomy infections (OR: 4.425; p < 0.0001). Patients with tracheostomy infections (OR: 3.14; p = 0.0062) and unspecified tracheostomy complications (OR: 2.00; p = 0.0076) had increased odds of mortality.CONCLUSION: These findings may help improve overall outcomes amongst patients with tracheostomies by preventing unnecessary ED admissions and improving healthcare provider preparedness and awareness.
View details for DOI 10.1159/000505130
View details for PubMedID 32036376