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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2003 Jan;67(1):7-10.

The changing indications for paediatric tracheostomy.

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Department of Paediatric Otolaryngology, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London WC1N 3JH, UK.



To investigate whether the incidence and indications for paediatric tracheostomy in this unit have changed over recent years.


All paediatric tracheostomies performed between 1993 and 2001 were identified from our departmental database. The indications for these were ascertained by retrospective case note review.


Over the 9-year period studied 362 tracheostomies were performed, the number increased slightly between the first and second half of the period, with peaks in 1997 and 1999. The commonest indication was prolonged ventilation due to neuromuscular or respiratory problems.


This large series shows that the increase in frequency of paediatric tracheostomy performed in this unit over the past decade has been due to conditions such as subglottic and tracheal stenosis, respiratory papillomatosis, caustic alkali ingestion and craniofacial syndromes. Conditions in which tracheostomy are now less common are subglottic haemangioma and laryngeal clefts. Prolonged ventilation remains the commonest indication overall.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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