Tracheostomy for infants requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation: 10 Years' experience

Alison E. Overman, Meixia Liu, Stephen C. Kurachek, Michael R. Shreve, Roy C. Maynard, Mark C Mammel, Brooke M. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Despite advances in care of critically ill neonates, extended mechanical ventilation and tracheostomy are sometimes required. Few studies focus on complications and clinical outcomes. Our aim was to provide long-term outcomes for a cohort of infants who required tracheostomy. METHODS: This study is a retrospective review of 165 infants born between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2010 who required tracheostomy and ventilator support. Children with complex congenital heart disease were excluded. RESULTS: Median gestational age was 27 weeks (range 22-43), and birth weight was 820 g (range 360-4860). The number of male (53.9%) and female (46.1%) infants was similar (P = .312). Infants were divided into 2 groups based on birth weight ≤1000 g (A) and >1000 g (B). Group A: 87 (57.6%) infants; group B 64 (42.4%). Overall tracheostomy rate was 6.9% (87/1345) for group A versus 0.9% (64/6818) for B (P <.001). Group A had a longer time from intubation to positive pressure ventilation independence, 505 days (range 62-1287) vs 372 days (range 15-1270; P = .011). Infantswho had >1 reason for tracheostomy comprised 78.8% of the sample; 69.1% of infants were discharged on ventilators. Birth weight did not affect time from tracheostomy to decannulation (P = .323). More group A infants were decannulated (P = .023). laryngotracheal reconstruction rate was 35.8%. Five-year survival was 89%. Group B had higher mortality (P = .033). 64.2% of infants had developmental delays; 74.2% had ≥2 comorbidities. CONCLUSIONS: Tracheostomy rates were higher for extremely low birth weight infants than previously reported rates for all infants. Decannulation rates and laryngotracheal reconstruction rates were consistent with previous studies. Survival rates were high, but developmental delay and comorbidities were frequent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1491-e1496
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2013


  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia
  • Infant
  • Prematurity
  • Tracheostomy
  • Ventilator


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