Indications and timing to perform tracheostomy in COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit: a review


  • Santosh Kumar Swain Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, IMS and SUM hospital, Siksha “O” Anusandhan University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India



COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, Timing of tracheostomy, Indications of tracheostomy, ICU


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a fatal and evolving disease   and associated with more complication such as respiratory failure and requirement of mechanical ventilation in intensive care unit (ICU). Tracheostomy is a commonly performed surgical procedure done at ICU for prolonged ventilation of the COVID-19 patients. The indications and timing to do tracheostomy on COVID-19 patients are controversial. The requirement of prolonged invasive mechanical ventilation in COVID-19 patients is placing to increased request to perform tracheostomy. The role of performing tracheostomy in COVID-19 patients is exactly not known. Currently, there is no clear-cut evidence for improvement of the clinical course of COVID-19 patients. However, it is confirmed that tracheostomy decreases the ICU stay. Tracheostomy is usually suggested for avoiding potential tracheal injury within 7 to 14 days. Currently, there is uncertainty for timing of tracheotomy, prognosis of the patients and safety of health care professionals. Enhanced personal protective equipment and optimized tracheostomy can make the procedure safe and beneficial in COVID-19 patients. The need of tracheostomy is increasing in current COVID-19 pandemic. We have to perform this surgical procedure in proper time with safe manner for benefit of the patients and health care professionals. This review article focuses on the indications and optimum timing for performing tracheostomy on COVID-19 patients in ICU. 


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