Outcomes After Tracheostomy for Patients With Respiratory Failure due to COVID-19.
To evaluate the utility and safety of tracheostomy for patients with respiratory failure from COIVD-19 and describe patient clinical characteristics and process of management.Case series of the first 24 COVID-19 patients who underwent tracheostomy at our institution, a single-center tertiary care community hospital intensive care/ventilator weaning unit. The patients all had respiratory failure from COVID-19 and required endotracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation. Outcomes reviewed include mortality, percent discharged, percent liberated from mechanical ventilation, percent decannulated, time from tracheostomy to ventilator liberation and discharge, and number of staff infected with COVID-19 during tracheostomy and management.Of the 24 patients who underwent tracheostomy, 21 (88%) of 24 survived. Twenty (83%) were liberated from mechanical ventilation, and 19 (79%) were discharged. Fourteen (74%) of the discharged had been decannulated. The average (± SD) time from tracheostomy to ventilator liberation was 9 ± 4.3 days and from tracheostomy to discharge 21 ± 9 days. All discharged patients had been liberated from mechanical ventilation. No health care workers became infected with COVID-19 during the procedure or subsequent patient management.Patients with respiratory failure from COVID-19 who underwent tracheostomy had a high likelihood of being liberated from mechanical ventilation and discharged. Tracheostomy and subsequent ventilator weaning management can be performed safely. Tracheostomy allowed for decompression of higher acuity medical units in a safe and effective manner.