The Royal College of surgeons multidisciplinary guidelines on elective tracheostomy insertion in COVID-19 ventilated patients.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has placed enormous strain on healthcare systems worldwide. Understanding of COVID-19 is rapidly evolving. Pneumonia associated with COVID-19 may lead to respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation. The rise in patients requiring mechanical ventilation may lead to an increase in tracheostomies being performed in patients with COVID-19. Performing tracheostomy in patients with active SARS-CoV-2 infection poses a number of challenges.These guidelines were written following multidisciplinary agreement between Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Respiratory Medicine and the Department of Anaesthetics and Critical Care Medicine in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. A literature review was performed and a guideline for elective tracheostomy insertion in patients with COVID-19 proposed.The decision to perform tracheostomy in patients with COVID-19 should be undertaken by senior members of the multidisciplinary team. Steps should be taken to minimise risks to healthcare workers.