Tuberc Respir Dis > Volume 47(3); 1999 > Article
Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases 1999;47(3):365-373.
DOI:    Published online September 1, 1999.
Outcomes in Relation to Time of Tracheostomy in Patients with Mechanical Ventilation.
Jeong Eun Shin, Tae Rim Shin, Young Mi Park, Jun Sik Nam, Seon Hee Cheon, Jung Hyun Chang
Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea.
Despite widespread use of tracheostomy in intensive care unit, it is still controversial to define the best timing from endotracheal intubation to tracheostomy under prolonged mechanical ventilation. Early tracheostomy has an advantage of easy airway maintenance and enhanced patient mobility whereas a disadvantage in view of nosocomial infection and tracheal stenosis. However, there is a controversy about the proper timing of tracheostomy. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective study of the 35 medical and 15 surgical ICU patients who had admitted to Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital from January 1996 to August 1998 with the observation of APACHE III score, occurrence of nosocomial infections, and clinical outcomes during 28 days from tracheostomy in terms of early (n=25) vs. late (n=25) tracheostomy. We defined the reference day of early and late tracheostomy as 7th day from intubation. RESULTS: 1. The number of patients were 25 each in early and late tracheostomy group. The mean age were 48 +/- 18 years in early tracheostomy group and 63 +/- 17 years in late tracheostomy group, showing younger in early tracheostomy group. The median duration of intubation prior to tracheostomy was 3 days and 13 days in early and late tracheostomy groups. Organs that caused primary problem were nervous system in 27 cases(54%), pulmonary 14(28%), cardiovascular 4(8%), gastrointestinal 4(8%) and genitourinary 1(2%) in the decreasing order. Prolonged ventilation was the most common reason for purpose of tracheostomy in both groups. 2. APACHE III scores at each time of intubation and tracheostomy were slightly higher in late tracheostomy group but not significant statistically. Day to day APACHE III scores were not different between two groups with observation upto 7th day after tracheostomy. 3. Occurrence of nosocomial infections, weaning from mechanical ventilation, and mortality showed no significant difference between two groups with observation of 28days from tracheostomy. 4. The mortality was increased as the APACHE III score up to 7 days after tracheostomy increased, but there were no increment for the mortality in terms of the time of tracheostomy and the days of ventilator use before tracheostomy. CONCLUSION: The early tracheostomy seems to have no benefit with respect to severity of illness, nosocomial infection, duration of ventilatory support, and mortality. It suggests that the time of tracheostomy is better to be decided on clinical judgement in each case. And in near future, prospective, randomized case-control study is required to confirm these results.
Key Words: Tracheostomy, APACHE III score, Mechanical ventilation

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