19 enero, 2022

Early Tracheostomy for Managing ICU Capacity During the COVID-19 Outbreak


During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, shortages of ventilators and ICU beds overwhelmed health care systems. Whether early tracheostomy reduces the duration of mechanical ventilation and ICU stay is controversial.

Research Question

Can failure-free day outcomes focused on ICU resources help to decide the optimal timing of tracheostomy in overburdened health care systems during viral epidemics?

Study Design and Methods

This retrospective cohort study included consecutive patients with COVID-19 pneumonia who had undergone tracheostomy in 15 Spanish ICUs during the surge, when ICU occupancy modified clinician criteria to perform tracheostomy in Patients with COVID-19. We compared ventilator-free days at 28 and 60 days and ICU- and hospital bed-free days at 28 and 60 days in propensity score-matched cohorts who underwent tracheostomy at different timings (≤ 7 days, 8-10 days, and 11-14 days after intubation).


Of 1,939 patients admitted with COVID-19 pneumonia, 682 (35.2%) underwent tracheostomy, 382 (56%) within 14 days. Earlier tracheostomy was associated with more ventilator-free days at 28 days (≤ 7 days vs > 7 days [116 patients included in the analysis]: median, 9 days [interquartile range (IQR), 0-15 days] vs 3 days [IQR, 0-7 days]; difference between groups, 4.5 days; 95% CI, 2.3-6.7 days; 8-10 days vs > 10 days [222 patients analyzed]: 6 days [IQR, 0-10 days] vs 0 days [IQR, 0-6 days]; difference, 3.1 days; 95% CI, 1.7-4.5 days; 11-14 days vs > 14 days [318 patients analyzed]: 4 days [IQR, 0-9 days] vs 0 days [IQR, 0-2 days]; difference, 3 days; 95% CI, 2.1-3.9 days). Except hospital bed-free days at 28 days, all other end points were better with early tracheostomy.


Optimal timing of tracheostomy may improve patient outcomes and may alleviate ICU capacity strain during the COVID-19 pandemic without increasing mortality. Tracheostomy within the first work on a ventilator in particular may improve ICU availability.

Créditos: Comité científico Covid

Deja un comentario

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada.

Translate »