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Braz J Otorhinolaryngol. 2010 May-Jun;76(3):326-31.

Indications and complications of tracheostomy in children.

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Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery.


Indications for tracheostomy have changed and its complications are more common in children.


To evaluate the indications and complications of tracheostomies performed in children.


A retrospective study with review of medical records of patients aged from 1 day to 16 years who underwent tracheostomy at a university hospital during the period of August 2000 to July 2008. We assessed data on age, gender, indications and intra and postoperative complications.


Fifty-eight children under 16 years of age underwent tracheotomy during the study period. The mean age was 3.7 years. Airway obstruction was the main indication for surgery (n = 40; 69%). The incidence of complications in the postoperative period was 19% (11 patients), the majority happening during the late postoperative period. A further complication observed was cannula clogging. There were no complications related to the procedure during the surgery.


The main indications for tracheostomy in children were airway obstruction and prolonged OTI. The most frequent postoperative complications were cannula obstruction and decannulation. The indications and complications observed were similar to those reported in the literature by other services.

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