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Eur Respir J. 2012 Dec;40(6):1502-7. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00164611. Epub 2012 Apr 10.

Paediatric patients with a tracheostomy: a multicentre epidemiological study.

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  • 1Hospital Carlos Haya y Universidad de Málaga, Malaga, Spain.


Changes in the indications for tracheostomy in children have led to the progressively greater involvement of the paediatric pulmonologist in the care of these patients. The aim of this study was to review the current profile of tracheostomised children in Spain. We undertook a longitudinal, multicentre study over 2 yrs (2008 and 2009) of all patients aged between 1 day and 18 yrs who had a tracheostomy. The study, involving 18 Spanish hospitals, included 249 patients, of whom 150 (60.2%) were <1 yr of age. The main indications for the procedure were prolonged ventilation (n=156, 62.6%), acquired subglottic stenosis (n=34, 13.6%), congenital or acquired craniofacial anomalies (n=25, 10%) and congenital airway anomalies (n=24, 9.6%). The most frequent underlying disorders were neurological diseases (n=126, 50.6%) and respiratory diseases (n=98, 39.3%). Over the 2-yr study period, 92 (36.9%) children required ventilatory support, and decannulation was achieved in 59 (23.7%). Complications arose in 117 patients (46.9%). Mortality attributed to the underlying condition was 12.5% and that related directly to the tracheostomy was 3.2%. Respiratory complexity of tracheostomised children necessitates prolonged, multidisciplinary follow-up, which can often extend to adulthood.

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