Tracheostomy During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Comparison of International Perioperative Care Protocols and Practices in 26 Countries. Otolaryngology--head and neck surgery : official journal of American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Bier-Laning, C., Cramer, J. D., Roy, S., Palmieri, P. A., Amin, A., Anon, J. M., Bonilla-Asalde, C. A., Bradley, P. J., Chaturvedi, P., Cognetti, D. M., Dias, F., Di Stadio, A., Fagan, J. J., Feller-Kopman, D. J., Hao, S., Kim, K. H., Koivunen, P., Loh, W. S., Mansour, J., Naunheim, M. R., Schultz, M. J., Shang, Y., Sirjani, D. B., St John, M. A., Tay, J. K., Vergez, S., Weinreich, H. M., Wong, E. W., Zenk, J., Rassekh, C. H., Brenner, M. J. 2020: 194599820961985


OBJECTIVE: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to a global surge in critically ill patients requiring invasive mechanical ventilation, some of whom may benefit from tracheostomy. Decisions on if, when, and how to perform tracheostomy in patients with COVID-19 have major implications for patients, clinicians, and hospitals. We investigated the tracheostomy protocols and practices that institutions around the world have put into place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.DATA SOURCES: Protocols for tracheostomy in patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection from individual institutions (n = 59) were obtained from the United States and 25 other countries, including data from several low- and middle-income countries, 23 published or society-endorsed protocols, and 36 institutional protocols.REVIEW METHODS: The comparative document analysis involved cross-sectional review of institutional protocols and practices. Data sources were analyzed for timing of tracheostomy, contraindications, preoperative testing, personal protective equipment (PPE), surgical technique, and postoperative management.CONCLUSIONS: Timing of tracheostomy varied from 3 to >21 days, with over 90% of protocols recommending 14 days of intubation prior to tracheostomy. Most protocols advocate delaying tracheostomy until COVID-19 testing was negative. All protocols involved use of N95 or higher PPE. Both open and percutaneous techniques were reported. Timing of tracheostomy changes ranged from 5 to >30 days postoperatively, sometimes contingent on negative COVID-19 test results.IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Wide variation exists in tracheostomy protocols, reflecting geographical variation, different resource constraints, and limited data to drive evidence-based care standards. Findings presented herein may provide reference points and a framework for evolving care standards.

View details for DOI 10.1177/0194599820961985

View details for PubMedID 33138722