Background: Several studies have shown that percutaneous dilational tracheostomy (PDT) is safe and cost-effective for patients recovering from surgery that requires a median sternotomy. We report our experience with PDT in patients receiving mechanical cardiac assistance. Methods: We reviewed the medical records of all patients who underwent ventricular assist device implantation at our institution between July 2000 and July 2003, and who subsequently required long-term ventilatory support during the same hospital admission. Data obtained from the records included demographic and biometric information, primary diagnosis, early (≤30days) and late (>30days) complications, date and cause of death, type of anti-coagulation used at the time of tracheostomy, and various coagulation measures. Results: Thirty-one consecutive patients (29 men, 2 women; mean age, 56 years) had PDT after ventricular assist device implantation. Four minor complications occurred among 3 of the patients (10%), including 3 early complications (2 peristomal oozing and 1 peristomal cellulitis) and 1 late complication (recurrent peristomal cellulitis), none of which affected long-term outcome. No major adverse events, long-term complications, or deaths resulted from the PDT procedure. Conclusions: PDT is feasible for patients with mechanical support devices who require long-term ventilatory support. Although some of these patients are coagulopathic, our results indicate that PDT is safe and effective in this challenging patient population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine