A novel percutaneous tracheostomy technique to reduce aerosolisation during the COVID-19 pandemic : A description and case series

Johnston, M. and Weldon, M. and Smart, C. and Shelton, C. and Eusuf, A. (2021) A novel percutaneous tracheostomy technique to reduce aerosolisation during the COVID-19 pandemic : A description and case series. Trends in Anaesthesia and Critical Care, 38. pp. 36-41.

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Background: COVID-19 is a global pandemic with many patients requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation. COVID-19 is associated with laryngeal oedema and a high rate of reintubation and difficult airway. Tracheostomy insertion is an aerosol generating procedure, so we strived to make our novel technique safe for operator and patient. Aim: To share our experience of a novel percutaneous tracheostomy technique, based on a case series of 18 patients with COVID-19 pneumonitis. Method: Our novel percutaneous tracheostomy technique is a landmark-based approach without bronchoscopic confirmation of the correct needle placement. Blunt dissection using tracheal dilators onto the tracheal rings facilitates first pass needle insertion into the trachea. The tracheal tube is retracted into the supraglottic airway, the cuff overinflated, and a wet throat pack inserted to reduce aerosolisation. Results: From March 2020 to May 2020, 38 patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 presented to Royal Bolton Hospital requiring invasive ventilation. 18 patients underwent percutaneous tracheostomy. 6 patients have been decannulated, 12 patients died. Mean time from intubation to tracheostomy was 6.1 days and from tracheostomy to decannulation 20.6 days. No operator developed COVID-19 symptoms. Conclusions: Despite the low numbers our novel technique appears to be safe, but confirmation requires a larger controlled trial. As an institution we have avoided difficulties with reintubation and reduced our drug usage. © 2021

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Trends in Anaesthesia and Critical Care
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Trends in Anaesthesia and Critical Care. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Trends in Anaesthesia and Critical Care, 38, 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.tacc.2021.04.001
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? airway managementinfection controlpandemicspatient safetytracheostomyanesthesiology and pain medicinecritical care and intensive care medicine ??
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Deposited On:
14 May 2021 14:55
Last Modified:
05 Jul 2024 23:54