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Laryngoscope. 2003 Oct;113(10):1777-9.

Safe tracheostomy for patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome.

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Department of Surgery, University of Hong Kong Medical Center, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong, Republic of China.



Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) caused by coronavirus has become an epidemic affecting many regions worldwide. Fourteen percent to 20% of patients require endotracheal intubation and ventilator support. Some of these patients may require tracheostomy subsequently. This procedure, when performed without protection, may lead to infection of the medical and nursing staff taking care of the patient.


Based on clinical information of three patients.


The authors carried out an emergency tracheostomy and changed the tracheostomy tube for one patient and performed elective tracheostomy in another two patients.


No medical or nursing staff member was infected after carrying out the procedure while taking all the precautions and wearing the appropriate protective apparel.


The authors have prepared guidelines for performing a safe tracheostomy under both elective and emergency conditions. Surgeons who might be involved in performing the tracheostomy should become familiar with these guidelines and the appropriate protective apparel.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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