Early Percutaneous Tracheostomy in Coronavirus Disease 2019: Association With Hospital Mortality and Factors Associated With Removal of Tracheostomy Tube at ICU Discharge. A Cohort Study on 121 Patients

Antonio Rosano, Enrico Martinelli, Federica Fusina, Filippo Albani, Rosalba Caserta, Alessandro Morandi, Piera Dell'Agnolo, Alessandra Dicembrini, Leila Mansouri, Andrea Marchini, Valeria Schivalocchi, Giuseppe Natalini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVES: Early tracheotomy, defined as a procedure performed within 10 days from intubation, is associated with more ventilator free days, shorter ICU stay, and lower mortality than late tracheotomy. During the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, it was especially important to save operating room resources and to have a shorter ICU stay for patients, when ICUs had insufficient beds. In this context of limited resources, early percutaneous tracheostomy could be an effective way to manage mechanically ventilated patients. Nevertheless, current recommendations suggest delaying or avoiding the tracheotomy in coronavirus disease 2019 patients. Aim of the study was to analyze the hospital mortality of coronavirus disease 2019 patients who had received early percutaneous tracheostomy and factors associated with removal of tracheostomy cannula at ICU discharge.

DESIGN: Cohort study.

SETTING: Coronavirus disease 2019 ICU.

PATIENTS: Adult patients with coronavirus disease 2019 3 days after ICU admission.


MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Three days after ICU admission, 164 patients were present in ICU and included in the analysis. One-hundred and twenty-one patients (74%) were tracheostomized, whereas the other 43 (26%) were managed with translaryngeal intubation only. In multivariable analysis, early percutaneous tracheostomy was associated with lower hospital mortality. Sixty-six of tracheostomized patients (55%) were discharged alive from the hospital. Age and male sex were the only characteristics that were independently associated with mortality in the tracheostomized patients (45.5% and 62.8% in tracheostomized and nontracheostomized patients, respectively; p = 0.009). Tracheostomy tube was removed in 47 of the tracheostomized patients (71%). The only variable independently associated with weaning from tracheostomy at ICU discharge was a faster start of spontaneous breathing after tracheotomy was performed.

CONCLUSIONS: Early percutaneous tracheostomy was safe and effective in coronavirus disease 2019 patients, giving a good chance of survival and of weaning from tracheostomy cannula at ICU discharge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-270
Number of pages10
JournalCritical Care Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021

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