Skip to main content

Percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy in a medical ICU

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the safety of percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy. Design: A prospective clinical study. Setting: The intensive care unit of a university medical clinic. Patients: 137 critically ill patients admitted between May 1993 and September 1996. Intervention: Percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy at the bedside. Results: The median duration of translaryngeal intubation prior to tracheostomy was 8 days. Tracheostomy was carried out within 12.8 min (range 7 –30 min). Acute complications were documented in 11.0 % of the patients. There was one case of severe bleeding with transient asphyxia. Four patients had tracheal mucosal laceration treated conservatively. The postoperative in-hospital complication rate was 5.1 %, the sole problem being stomal bleeding. Only two cases of stomal infection were documented. There was no procedure-related mortality. Conclusion: In the hands of the experienced, percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy is a safe and quick bedside procedure. It is also less expensive and incurs minimal stress for the patient compared with the surgical method. The technique can be easily mastered by non-surgical physicians and we feel that it is the method of choice for elective tracheostomy in the majority of intensive care patients.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Additional information

Received: 16 August 1996 Accepted: 27 February 1997

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Petros, S., Engelmann, L. Percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy in a medical ICU. Intensive Care Med 23, 630–634 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1007/s001340050385

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s001340050385

  • Key words Percutaneous
  • Tracheostomy
  • Critically ill
  • Bleeding
  • Tracheal injury