Science and Research

Percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy (PDT) in trauma patients: a safe procedure

PURPOSE: Percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy (PDT) is a standard procedure routinely performed on intensive care units. While complication rates and long-term outcomes have been studied in different patient populations, there are few studies known to these authors involving PDT in trauma patients and the complications which may result. METHODS: Between March 2007 and August 2013, all instances and peri-procedural complications during PDT occurring on the trauma intensive care unit, a unit specialized in the care of injured patients and especially polytrauma patients, were documented. PDTs were performed by a surgeon with the assistance and supervision of another, using bronchoscopic guidance performed by the respiratory medicine department. RESULTS: 289 patients were included in the study, 225 men and 64 women with a mean age of 49 +/- 21 years. Complications occurred in 37.4 % of cases. The most common complication, bleeding, occurred in 26.3 % of patients ranging from little to severe bleeding. Fracture of tracheal cartilage occurred in 6 % of PDT cases. Additional complications such as dislocation of the guidewire, hypotension, and oxygen desaturation were observed. Most complications did not require treatment. The second tracheal intercartilaginous space was successfully intubated in 82 % of cases. CONCLUSIONS: PDT is a safe procedure in trauma patients. When considering the severity of complications such as major blood loss, pneumothorax, or death, this evidence suggests that PDT is safer in trauma patients compared to other patient cohorts.

  • Decker, S.; Gottlieb, J.; Cruz, D. L.; Muller, C. W.; Wilhelmi, M.; Krettek, C.; Wilhelmi, M.


  • Complications
  • Multiple injured
  • Percutaneous dilatational tracheotomy
  • Polytrauma
  • Ventilation
  • Weaning
Publication details
DOI: 10.1007/s00068-015-0578-9
Journal: European journal of trauma and emergency surgery : official publication of the European Trauma Society
Pages: 605-610 
Number: 5
Work Type: Original
Location: BREATH
Disease Area: ROR
Partner / Member: MHH
Access-Number: 26438088
See publication on PubMed

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