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Factors associated with short versus prolonged tracheostomy length of cannulation and the relationship between length of cannulation and adverse events

Published:November 03, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aucc.2021.09.003

      Abstract

      Background

      Tracheostomy management and care is multifaceted and costly, commonly involving complex patients with prolonged hospitalisation. Currently, there are no agreed definitions of short and prolonged length of tracheostomy cannulation (LOC) and no consensus regarding the key factors that may be associated with time to decannulation.

      Objectives

      The aims of this study were to identify the factors associated with short and prolonged LOC and to examine the number of tracheostomy-related adverse events of patients who had short LOC versus prolonged LOC.

      Methods

      A retrospective observational study was undertaken at a large metropolitan tertiary hospital. Factors known at the time of tracheostomy insertion, including patient, acuity, medical, airway, and tracheostomy factors, were analysed using Cox proportional hazards model and Kaplan–Meier survival curves, with statistically significant factors then analysed using univariate logistic regression to determine a relationship to short or prolonged LOC as defined by the lowest and highest quartiles of the study cohort. The number of tracheostomy-related adverse events was analysed using the Kaplan–Meier survival curve.

      Results

      One hundred twenty patients met the inclusion criteria. Patients who had their tracheostomy performed for loss of upper airway were associated with short LOC (odds ratio [OR]: 2.30 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.01–5.25) p = 0.049). Three factors were associated with prolonged LOC: an abdominal/gastrointestinal tract diagnosis (OR: 5.00 [95% CI: 1.40–17.87] p = 0.013), major surgery (OR: 2.51 [95% CI: 1.05–6.01] p = 0.038), and intubation for >12 days (OR: 0.30 [95% CI: 0.09–0.97] p = 0.044). Patients who had one or ≥2 tracheostomy-related adverse events had a high likelihood of prolonged LOC (OR: 5.21 [95% CI: 1.95–13.94] p = ≤0.001 and OR: 12.17 [95% CI: 2.68–55.32] p ≤ 0.001, respectively).

      Conclusion

      Some factors that are known at the time of tracheostomy insertion are associated with duration of tracheostomy cannulation. Tracheostomy-related adverse events are related to a high risk of prolonged LOC.

      Keywords

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