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Am Surg. 1992 Jun;58(6):346-9.

The role of early tracheostomy in blunt, multiple organ trauma.

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Surgery Department, Arizona Health Sciences Center, Tucson 85724.


During a 9-year period, 101 patients sustaining blunt, multiple organ injury underwent tracheostomy. Group I consisted of 32 patients who underwent tracheostomy within the first 4 days of injury (early tracheostomy) and Group II comprised 69 patients who underwent tracheostomy more than 4 days after surgery (late tracheostomy). There was no statistical difference between the two groups in terms of age, Injury Severity Score, Glasgow Coma Score, and associated injuries. The mean time of mechanical ventilatory support was 6.0 +/- 3.4 days in Group I as compared to 20.6 +/- 12.2 days in Group II (P less than 0.001). Early weaning from the ventilator was accomplished in 32 (100%) patients who underwent early tracheostomy versus 43 (62%) of those who underwent late tracheostomy (P less than 0.001). Finally, the incidence of nosocomial pneumonias was also significantly less in patients undergoing early tracheostomy. There were three nonlethal complications associated with tracheostomy. The authors conclude that early tracheostomy helps in early weaning from the ventilator and reduces the incidence of nosocomial pneumonias and time of mechanical ventilatory support in patients with blunt, multiple organ injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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